Con la prisa de terminar la instalación de Genérica para la exposicion, Strange New World en el Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de San Diego, que inicia el 20 de Mayo, no me queda tiempo para postear algunas ideas. Pero por lo pronto les dejo el texto del catalogo de dicha expo ya antes posteado en español, lo paso en ingles con algunas postales y discos de mi colección.
Debunking Utopia: The Vicissitudes of
As the concept of cities are redefined, urban centers are in a state of entropy. Downtowns are becoming vertical suburbs, or undergoing a thematic renaissance of simulated street attractions. Downtown
Since the execution of the ill-fated Plan of Zaragosa—a copy of a city beautiful model executed somewhere in the mid-western
These pseudo-modernist relics act as lattices correlating with pedestrians, neon signs, the mini buses called Calafias, street vendors, and all the other programmatic manifestations that
The Calimax building on
Signs, air ducts, and recently added appendages penetrate these buildings’ facades acting as life-support. The buildings are monuments to their own demise in a forgotten downtown. And yet, they seem to be in a mode of perpetual recycling instead of decay, as we might expect. They function as artifacts, as Aldo Rossi would define any construction that played a role in contributing to the collective memory of place.
A shoestore named Zapatería Diseños Variety operates from a white box building on Avenida Constitución that boasts an appliqué of advertisements and graffiti that declare the “variety “of functions found in the building’s interior. Situated in the middle of the block, the building is practically invisible from the street due to the large awning that blocks its view and creates a spatial disjunction between circulation and transportation at street level, as well as with the building’s interior program. The elegant glass block corner unconsciously alludes to those found on Bauhaus style buildings.
Modernism was never a part of a national ethos in
The national architectonic ethos would arrive in
Downtown was the place where cabarets featured big bands, jazz quartets, and other musical manifestations rarely seen today. It was home to the “good music”—as a well-known cantinero who tended bars at Aloha, Club 21, Frenchis Bar, and currently at the Coronet Piano Bar—once exclaimed. Yes,
All the music on this album was written during a very blue period in my life. I was minus a wife, and in flight to forget her with an expected dream in
The music of
Downtown is where music and urban living were one. The Escamilla Photography Studio, located on 2nd Street, boasts an early modernist interior within a grandiose and theatrical space. “The studio was designed as a scenic space to show off the artistic qualities of the architecture,” Carlos Escamilla explained describing the building his father built between 1950 and 1953. “Patrons would ‘dress up’ in evening wear as if going out for a night on the town and walk through the double doors to have their portraits taken.” Today the studio’s upper floors function as storage space for bygone memories recorded on celluloid, and most of the portraits Escamillo takes are Polaroids of walk-in customers.
Walking the streets of
As you make your way through sidewalk vendors, street merchandise, shoeshine stands, and pedestrian traffic, movement unfolds.