Welcome to my Día de los Muertos gallery! Día de los Muertos is one of my favorite celebrations. We celebrate and embrace death, welcoming back the people who touched our lives and who are now in the spirit realm. Here in San Francisco we’ve had a Day of the Dead parade and celebration for many years now, and it grows bigger every year.
The night began with delicious Salvadorean and Colombian food at El Majahual. After that we wandered the streets, following drum beats and the aroma of burning sage. The festivities then lead to Garfield Park, where altars were displayed. Enjoy the pics!
Who should art belong to in times of economic crisis?
This weekend El País has published a series of articles about the challenges to the Spanish art world in this time of economic crisis. How do public institutions continue to acquire relevant and important works when their budgets are being scaled back? How do museums prevent a gaping hole – to paraphrase one of the authors – in their collections when wealthy inventors can easily speed away with a choice painting or sculpture? These questions and more are addressed.
In his article entitled “Atención: riesgo de amnesia” (Attention: Risk of Amnesia), Manuel Borja-Villel, Director of the Reina Sofía, states that the crisis will have irreversible consequences in the Spanish art world. He states, “To understand that culture is a right is essential; therefore it is necessary to set forth the opportunity for new management models” so that public art spaces gain just as much support as the private arena. He goes on to say that “if museums are repositories of memory, (Spain) runs the risk of amnesia.” (Translations are mine.)
Miguel Zaragoza, Director of the Prado, discusses the culture of art going to the highest bidder. In “Al mejor postor” (To the Highest Bidder), he points out that he wants Spain to hold on to what it has; now other emerging countries perhaps have the resources to acquire works that he feels “belong” to the Spanish people and culture, thus leaving a gaping hole in collections.
Is there a moral imperative to ensure that a Picasso, say, stays in Spain – rather than being swept up by the highest bidder and hung in a private home in Russia? How do museums and other public institutions ensure stability and a ripe future in a time when there is a huge potential for private acquisition? These questions are not solely Spain’s but are being asked throughout the world’s art institutions, both large and small.
The New York Times currently has a special series that highlights Latin America in words and pictures. “Latin America Through a Lens” takes you to five locations: Mexico, Nicaragua, Chile, Colombia, and Guatemala. I especially like the article and photos about Bogotá, Colombia, as it ties in with a documentary I recently saw called Urbanized. Part of the film highlights the improvements in public transportation, bike lanes, and pedestrian areas that Bogotá now has.
Overall, the articles in this series seem to be well-rounded and have great details about each place highlighted. One of the features – in which the writer describes what she seems to feel is a slightly torturous drive to an off-the-beaten path spot – is a little overdone and does not take into account the real experience of local people and how they may experience their home. Well, some travel writing can totally miss the mark. Overall, though, I like that the NY Times has given us a series of photos and articles that show the diversity of people, places, food and more that is Latin America. It makes me want to explore more.
“Al fin y al cabo, somos lo que hacemos para cambiar lo que somos.”
“After all, we are what we do to change who we are.” So says Eduardo Galeano, Uruguayan writer and journalist. There are some changes here at Life, Translated. My blog recently turned 1 and I had time to reflect on where the content is heading. I’ve moved the blog here to WordPress. Originally I focused a lot on people and events in California, and now am adjusting to broader coverage. I’ll be updating my Twitter feed more and will write fewer but more detailed posts on the blog. Here we go!