Saturday, April 18, 2015

Calder, architecture and martinis

With so many museums in the city, it's just a question of simply picking one out and going there, right? Last weekend it was the turn of the Museo Jumex. By the way, Jumex is a brand of what I find as one of the most disgusting juice you could ever have, which is probably the reason I had never suggested visiting this museum - I couldn't bear the name! But, fortunately, the habibi* (LONG note at end of post) had spotted one exhibition that would make even the biggest hater of those juices to rush there - an exhibition of Alexander Calder's pieces! 

The museum, I'll admit, is quite fine. It only houses exhibitions. There are no collections. And the design is pretty airy, has a number of terraces from which to view the area around, the light is amazing... And then... Calder's exhibition! Wow. Who could not be wowed by his kinetic sculptures? I so wish we had been allowed to take photos! Of course, his abstract "still" sculptures were beautiful to look at from a variety of angles. But the kinetic ones? I stopped long at a number of them, watching them shift ever so slightly, taking different shapes, projecting living shadows... Hats off to the man, and to the massive exhibition!

Now, the other interesting thing? The museum across - the Museo Soumaya. I had mentioned this museum in a previous post from 2011. With an almost obscenely complete collection of art that spans some 30 centuries (which may or may not be your cup of tea), its very distinctive shape does add something to the landscape of this part of the city. Also, mind you, back then, the whole area was pretty much a wasteland - lots of dirt, construction going on, noise... it was really inhospitable. Enter spring 2015 - the Museo Jumex, the Plaza Carso (a mall fancy enough to have a Saks Fifth Avenue), shiny corporation buildings, trees and flowers, and a crowd that most definitely didn't resemble the crowds I usually see in downtown Mexico (ie, verging on too posh). What a difference! 

The affluence of the area is sort of reflected - in my humble opinion, at least - in quite a few other details, like a koi pond (a koi pond???) by the Museo Soumaya, and Dali sculptures liberally placed around the area and inside the Plaza Carso. 

As well, as if to underscore the fancy-shmancy feel of this area... Well, you see, after Calder's super amazing and incredible exhibition, we figured we could watch a film from Mexico City's international film festival that was showing right there at Plaza Carso's movie theatre. I bought tickets for the VIP cinema, assuming - erroneously I discovered later - that the film was showing just there and not in the "commoners' cinema". Well. I've been to a VIP cinema once, in Toronto. The difference was absurd! You could adjust the seat's back- and foot-rest with buttons, you had a side-table with a lamp and a button to call for the waiter to order the food on the menu placed on said table, and basically this had all the feeling of a first class seat in an airplane! The funniest thing? The martini I had there was the best martini I've had in the city! The glass was perfectly chilled, the olives were good, the gin delicious... You did not expect that, eh? What, does that mean now I'll have to go to this theatre for my drinks? 

So, if you're around and have the chance, get to the Museo Jumex ASAP for a good and very well served dose of Calder. And maybe a martini later at the movies? 

* habibi - Formerly the huz. Why? If you read this post here you'll know we didn't sign a marriage contract out of a deep respect for an institution that privileges one type of family over others. And after a long and complicated talk, we came to the conclusion that using the words huz, husband and the like may have heteronormativized (long but accurate word) and subconsciously negatively altered our own perceptions about our relationship. So I'm switching back to habib, habibi, mahboubi and derived words, which I used for a long time, and leaving words like spouse and husband for more official public spheres as needed.

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