Last week my rad friend Aislinn and I checked out SFMOMA‘s current exhibit- Photography in Mexico. It was interesting that for as incredibly wide the scope of it sounds (I remember being like, “What, just like, every type of photo anyone from anytime has ever taken in Mexico?”) the exhibit definitely had a cohesive feel to it. Although the photography was b+w, color, done by men and women, ranged from the 19th century to contemporary, included landscapes, portraiture, abstract scenes, and encompassed several artistic movements, the unifying themes were social injustice and deeply intimate moments of darkness and sorrow.
The exhibit ended with a section on border politics, and there were some pretty cool works that tied space + mind to make a statement about borders. Some portrayed the border as a very personal and emotional state, while others were cold, distant geometric shapes to show the fabricated nature of borders.
Another thing that struck me about my experience at the exhibit was how many people were speaking Spanish. Okay, yeah, it was “Photography in Mexico,” but I’ve been too a ton of museum exhibitions that focused on a specific group or country, and I gotta say, the museum crowd is usually all the same. Neighborhood arts events will get a different folks, but it was refreshing and beautiful to hear so many people speaking about the art in Spanish, at a damn museum. Granted, it was still a mainly academic crowd, but I appreciated it. It even further inspired Aislinn to want to learn Spanish, so I’m going to start teaching her soon.
In the end, my personal favorite works were those by Manuel Álvarez Bravo and Lola Álvarez Bravo.
The exhibition runs through July 8. Also, this has nothing to do with anything, but fuck Coachella. I’m so unbelievably glad to be here in San Francisco this week.