If you click the images and links below you will see that I am presenting a lecture tonight, Wednesday, January 26, 2011 @ 7pm, along with Josh Kun, USC, and Jim Heimann, author/editor, Taschen Books, at the Santa Monica Museum of Art. It is the inaugural party for The Donkey Show, a new exhibition curated by Kun & Heimann for SMMOA. I am excited to be asked to be part of the fiesta! Imagine that the shade of Jean Baudrillard, cross-dressed as a "Mexican" encounters the ghosts of Remedios Varo, Rosario Castellanos, Frida Kahlo, Roland Barthes, and Walter Benjamin (in Andy Warhol's boudoir)--that's the frisson in the air one gets from this striking new curatorial intervention.
The simulation par excellence for "Mexico" in the California imagination is the infamous Donkey Show. There are, of course, two of them, both apocryphal, both, also, oddly real: the Donkey Show is the infamous sex show, the staple of the beastial Mexican bordertown underbelly, the Donkey Show is where one goes when one inhabits the border (really, this is no surprise as the instersticial is at once the world of the exotic, the world of the "strange"). It is a magic dark space where the spectacle of taboo, denied sexual magic between human and animal is a real possibility. Both real and imagined, legendary and banal, the Donkey Show in Tijuana lore embodies a magic world much like that of Alice in Wonderland--only here the Cheshire cat is more like John Holmes, Alice more like Stoya..... a traditional magiclandia of the frontier where witness and agent are one.
The other Donkey show is equally beastial, equally Baudrillardian--or Borgesian, or Sarduyan, for the Latin Americanists who want to kick the Frenchies to one side. This is the painted burro, the striped donkey or zonkey, that tourists ride for the pleasure of the camera. This cannot be forgotten! The zonkey and the tourist only exist in connubial harmony for the hungry maw of the camera--the tourist shot that becomes a mantle-piece curiosity for visitors from Madison, Boise, Seattle, Pittsburgh, New Rochelle and beyond.
Both Donkey shows, the sexually overdetermined mythical/real beastiality spectacle and the tourist trap sidestreet staple are products of monstrous spectacular scenes--interludes for the eye or the camera that mark the psyche and mark "Mexico" indelibly in the mind's eye, in the eye's mind--in the I's memory and nostalgia.
See you there!
Click the graphic more more info or go here:
Also, this just in! One of my amazing former
students and cool amigo zaps this picture in
in honor of the show! Que Viva Zonkeys!
Chuy Dominguez tattoo by Kiki Platas done in Tijuana at Tinta Distinta!
Even more info here:
Even more info here: