Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Cool museum

Today I went to the Centro Cultural Palacio la Moneda, which opened last year and is located directly under the presidential palace. I didn’t know what I would see, but figured it would center on Chilean cultural heritage. Turns out I was wrong.

I went and saw an enormous sculpture, like a huge banner depicting flags of the world. I got closer, wondering what it was made of. Closer still, and I realize it is made entirely of different colored human hair, ingeniously glued together. This was no ordinary museum.

I proceeded to the exposition rooms, dedicated at the moment to Asian artists as a statement of Chile reaching out toward that region, and more surprises awaited. Up on the walls in one room were various videos, one of which flashed words that formed part of an essay. The theme of this essay was that women deserved multiple orgasms, oral sex, and various other things I won’t detail, but bourgeois women are controlled by bourgeois men who deny them.

Another room had copper tiles on the floor, showing images of Salvador Allende, Che Guevara, Pablo Neruda, Mapuches, and others, even Arturo Prat, who is the main naval hero of Chile. On the walls were various videos of performance arts, and one of them was so compelling I stood there a few minutes, almost laughing out loud. It showed a guy in Tokyo, who apparently went to all different parts of the city and vomited bright colors. So you’d see him in a garden, and suddenly he’d convulse and puke up yellow. Then he’s on a sidewalk, throwing up orange.

Not a typical "below the presidential palace" museum...


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