Monday, January 28, 2008

Day 25

Day 25  January 28, 2008


     Good art can make you think.  Bad art can make you angry.

     It was rainy this morning, our first day of rain the entire trip. The flowers were blooming on the jacaranda trees in the Plaza San Martin.  We decided to go to the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano. Housed in a modern three story building in the Recoleta neighborhood, it contains a permanent collection with some famous works by Diego Rivera, Frieda Khalo and Covarubia.  We enjoyed them and some impressionistic works by other artists.  There were some mechanical moving pieces that made us laugh.  A metal sculpture of six rings that would stretch and bend and move when you pushed a button.  Dale said: "I really think the conveyor belts in the new Unifrutti warehouse in Chile was a much finer work of art."

     Then we walked into a room with an model of an American Air Force jet at least twelve feet long, hanging vertically on the jet was a bloody crucified Christ.  The caption was:  The Christian Western World.  We chuckled at how obviously anti-American the artist was and how hamhanded and foolish was his art attack. The Soviet's had an entire school of art – Socialist Realism- devoted to attacks on America.

    But our laughter turned to anger when we went up to the top floor and saw the exhibition of Oscar Bony.  He was obsessed with death and had a series of thirty very large black and white photos of people being shot in various settings. The artist shot them first with his camera and then, after they were framed and behind glass, shot them again with a 9mm police gun. This is sick art, it was entitled the Suicide Series.  As we turned the corner to see the final, major piece of his oeuvre, it was a ten foot by six foot photograph of the 9/11 airplane crashing into the World Trade Center.  His title for the photograph was Osama Bin Laden 2001 and under the title he wrote:  "Fair is foul and foul is fair" quoting Shakespeare in Macbeth, scene 1.  Now we are not expert Shakespeare scholars and I want to read the play to get the context.  But if he means that somehow America deserved the attack, then he really made us mad.

     It is so typical for a socialist country to have a museum funded by tax payer dollars and the rich, "limousine liberals" who fund their pseudoart and use it to criticize America and all things capitalist.  We walked out of the museum fuming and hailed a taxi to the La Biela Cafe for a quick lunch.  The taxi driver refused to take the bill I handed him, saying it was "falso."  I found another bill that he accepted, and we went in to lunch.  After lunch I handed the waiter the first bill and he too said it was counterfeit.  I put two 50 peso bills side by side and they are identical except for the "feel" or the "texture" of the bill.  The waiter took me up to the head cashier and then three other waiters crowded around.  They all held the bill up to the light and stroked it, pronouncing it "bien hecho, muy bien hecho."  Well made, perhaps, but it was counterfeit. They wanted to know where I got it, but I have no idea having been given change by many people.  So we will bring it home for a souvenir, and will include a photo in the blog.  Can you tell which one is counterfeit?  Bad art and bad counterfeiting can make you angry.  Better to just ignore the idiots and move on.  Tonight we go to the big Tango show.

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