Thursday, March 08, 2007

A Strange New World

Strange New World, Art and Design from Tijuana is the current exhibition at Santa Monica Museum of Art. I was able to go to the opening in January that also featured some of Tijuana's top DJs from the electronic music scene. DJs and a growing art movement that I wasn't aware of... I was intrigued.

The exhibition features works by 20 artists, celebrating the recent artistic revolution that has transformed the cultural production in Tijuana. Some of the highlights include an on-site installation that explores and blurs the concept of public and private space, a map interpretation that increasingly reveals itself to you from the moment you walk in, and a sculpture created from car mufflers (in Tijuana, these mufflers are often painted and modified for use as intricate shop signs that boast the abilities of the shops).

Quite frankly, the exhibit is refreshing to see in an industry where exhibited art has the tendency to stay on the safe side. And the struggle with identity and changing realities is a hard issue to tackle and translate successfully (I wanted to bawl my eyes out several times while thesising on this very topic as a studio art major); oftentimes, this theme is explored in mundane ways that disrupt for the sake of shock value. These artists, however, convey their struggles in an honest way - no pretentious qualities nor cries for pity. The exhibit, in some ways, enables you to get a sense of the movement due to its honest nature.

Santa Monica Museum of Art is located at the Bergamot Station Arts Center, a former trolley station that used to be a stopoff for Red Line trolleys during the 1870s. Bergamot Station also houses many other galleries. The exhibit runs until April 7th, so you still have some time to check it out.

Two other events related to the exhibit that SMMoA is hosting:
-March 9th: Making Art in Tijuana
-March 23rd: Exteriors/Interiors

-Sarah Koo, ExperienceLA Arts/Cultural Marketing Intern

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