The Magic of the Cities.

Zen promotes the rediscovery of the obvious, which is so often lost in its familiarity and simplicity. It sees the miraculous in the common and magic in our everyday surroundings. When we are not rushed, and our minds are unclouded by conceptualizations, a veil will sometimes drop, introducing the viewer to a world unseen since childhood. ~John Greer

You don't take a photograph, you make it. ~Ansel Adams

The Earth Has Music For Those Who Listen.

"I still find each day to short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see"

~ John Burroughs

October 31, 2009

Underworld


Temple of The Feathered Serpent
Xochicalco is a pre-Columbian archaeological site in the western part of the Mexican state of Morelos. The name Xochicalco may be translated from Nahuatl as "in the (place of the) house of Flowers". The site is located 38 km southwest of Cuernavaca, about 76 miles by road from Mexico City. The site is open to visitors all week, from 10am to 5pm, although access to the observatory is only allowed after noon. The apogee of Xochicalco came after the fall of Teotihuacan and it has been speculated that Xochicalco may have played a part in the fall of the Teotihuacan empire.

The architecture and iconography of Xochicalco show affinities with Teotihuacan, the Maya area, and the Matlatzinca culture of the Toluca Valley.
The main ceremonial center is atop an artificially leveled hill, with remains of residential structures, mostly unexcavated, on long terraces covering the slopes. The site was first occupied by 200 BC, but did not develop into an urban center until the Epiclassic period (A.D. 700 - 900). Nearly all the standing architecture at the site was built at this time. At its peak, the city may have had a population of up to 20,000 people.

Of special interest are sculptured reliefs on the sides of some buildings. The Temple of the Feathered Serpent has fine stylized depictions of that deity in a style which includes apparent influences of Teotihuacan and Maya art. It has been speculated that Xochicalco may have had a community of artists from other parts of Mesoamerica.

Other monuments at the site include several other step-pyramid temples, palaces, three ballcourts, sweat-baths, an unusual row of circular altars, and a cave with steps carved down into it. The site also has some free-standing sculptured stelae; others were removed from their original location and are now on display in the INAH museum in Mexico City and at the site museum.

At some point around A.D. 900 the city of Xochicalco was burned and destroyed. Many of the excavated houses and temples have layers of burning and destruction that cover the deposits from the main Epiclassic occupation. Underneath destruction layers, numerous objects were left in place in the houses, indicating that the site was destroyed and abandoned quickly. A small remnant population lived on, however, on the lower slopes of the hill. Later, around A.D. 1200, the site was recolonized by the Nahuatl-speaking Tlahuica peoples, ancestors to the Nahuatl-speaking populations of the modern state of Morelos.

Xochicalco is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a tourist destination. The site also has a well-stocked museum, designed by noted Mexican architect Roland Dada. [Wiki]

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October 30, 2009

Theatre of The Absurd / Teatro del Absurdo


The Christian Science Monitor
By Sara Miller Llana | Staff writer 10.29.09
Los Tigres del Norte sing of censorship, bail on Mexican award.
Los Tigres del Norte, a popular Mexican band, canceled an appearance on the Luna Awards TV show in Mexico Wednesday. The Mexican government denied any censorship of the band.
MEXICO CITY - Politicians say that narcocorridos, the songs which extol the exploits of drug traffickers, must go. But these ballads appeal to a significant audience.
Caught in the middle are the Mexican musicians themselves, who say their art merely chronicles of the political and business interests that fuel the drug trade and wreak havoc on the streets.
In the most recent standoff, the popular “norteño” band Los Tigres del Norte canceled an appearance at an awards show in Mexico for alleged “censorship.” Universal Music, the Tigres’ record label, said that the government-owned National Auditorium in Mexico City asked them not to play their narcocorrido hit “La Granja” during Las Lunas Awards ceremony Wednesday night. In protest, Los Tigres bailed out.
La Granja, which translate as “The Farm,” seems to take aim at the military-led war against drug trafficking, which has unleashed violence between rival drug traffickers (see our briefing on the key cartels and the Mexican government campaign against them) and taken a livelihood away from many would-be marijuana growers and dealers.
The lyrics, translated by the Los Angeles Times, go like this:
Today we have, every day
Much insecurity
Because they let the dog loose
And it all came tumbling down . . . .

El Economista

Vicente Gutiérrez Created 28/10/2009.

"La Granja" dice la verdad: Tigres del Norte
Su tema ha sido censurado.

Con una fábula, Los Tigres del Norte critican a los políticos, los banqueros, al expresidente Vicente Fox, la inseguridad y la pobreza en México.
“Si alguien la prohíbe es porque dice la verdad y llama la atención. Nuestro trabajo es denunciar todo lo que vemos a través de nuestra música”, dijo Jorge Hernández, líder del grupo.
En el tema (y el vídeo animado) aparecen banqueros millonarios y Vicente Fox representados como marranos, un zorro y el pueblo.
“México tiene muchos problemas, uno de ellos es la crisis económica y otro la violencia. Pero lo peor es que en el país los políticos no se ponen de acuerdo en nada. Un día se aprueban los impuestos y al otro no... hay mucha confusión y eso daña al pueblo, que lo soporta todo”, explicó Hernán Hernández.
Los Tigres del Norte han denunciado problemas en sus canciones, pero... ¿ha servido de algo?
“Sí, claro. Nos lo dice la gente y lo vemos cuando usan la música en manifestaciones o cuando las censuran”, comentó Jorge Hernández.
“Fe, esperanza y alegría es lo que hemos llevado al pueblo con nuestra música y mientras siga habiendo problemas e injusticias... Los Tigres del Norte seguiremos cantando”, dijo Jorge Hernández.

El Universal
Ciudad de México Miércoles 28 de octubre de 2009
Jorge Hernández, cantante y líder de Los Tigres del Norte, reconoció que el hecho de censurar un tema no ayuda a mejorar la situación del país: "Si ese fuera el remedio para solucionar todo lo que tratamos en nuestras canciones, que las cancelen todas".
Comentó que la decisión, tomada tras una reunión con representantes de su casa discográfica, de no presentarse en la ceremonia de entrega de las Lunas del Auditorio Nacional, se debe a una recomendación emitida por parte de la Secretaría de Gobernación.

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October 29, 2009

Portraits in almost B&W






Vide Cor Meum
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October 28, 2009

V


Trying to catch the transit authority in action, suddenly appear this friendly hand in middle of the chaos.

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October 27, 2009

Sunday Walk


Caminata de Domingo 1999 de Leonora Carrington
Sunday Walk (painting) by Leonora Carrington 1999.

Leonora Carrington, one of Britain's finest - and neglected – surrealists.
Her importance, lies partly in that she - along with artists such as Leonor Fini and Remedios Varo - opened up a new, and more female, strand of surrealism: in Mexico, Leonora and Varo dabbled in alchemy and the occult, and the work of both was rooted for a time in the magical and domestic elements of women's lives. "One of the extraordinary aspects of Leonora's work is how she draws on so many different inspirations, from the Celtic legends she learned from her nanny, through the constraints of her upper-class upbringing, to the surrealism of Paris in the 1930s - and then to the magic of Mexico," "Her work is evocative of so many things, and it's enormously complex: she hasn't had a massive output because her technique is so meticulous and the work so detailed. She certainly wasn't a Picasso who could churn out several pictures a day; her work would take many months, even years."

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October 26, 2009

Zoo Entrance


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October 25, 2009

Gratitude


Nobody, I think, ought to read poetry, or look at pictures or statues, who cannot find a great deal more in them than the poet or artist has actually expressed. Their highest merit is suggestiveness.
Nathaniel Hawthorne

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October 23, 2009

East / West



Juarez Ave in downtown at Historic Center. Latin American Tower in the background of the top shot.
Have a great weekend!

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October 22, 2009

Local News / New Taxes: Internet ...


Cartoon by El Fisgon. La Jornada -21-10-09.

La "toma de la tribuna" que llevaron a cabo ayer los petistas Mario di Costanzo y Fernández Noroña fue un acto de protesta espectacular pero inútil. Este día la Cámara de Diputados en pleno aprobó los impuestos que previamente diseñaron los presidentes (Felipe Calderón) que saldrá en tres años más y el que espera remplazarlo (Enrique Peña Nieto). No quisieron sacrificar la vida de lujo de la alta burocracia, vamos, ni un Mercedes Benz. En el último año de gobierno de Ernesto Zedillo el presupuesto fue de un millón de millones de pesos (un billón). En los nueve años de panismo se triplicó y, aunque estamos en crisis, el de 2010 rebasará los 3 billones. Ya no se esperan ingresos espectaculares del petróleo, así que el dinero de los contribuyentes será usado como sustituto. Los de clase media y pobres, vale la pena aclarar, porque a menos que ocurriera hoy algo fuera de lo programado, los 400 grandes grupos empresariales continuarán disfrutando del privilegio de no pagar o pagar lo mínimo. No obstante la información contundente que reveló el Servicio de Administración Tributaria en la víspera, en el sentido de que con sólo aumentar un 5% la recaudación que proviene de esos grupos sería bastante para tapar el agujero fiscal, los capos del PRI, el PAN y el PRD chuchista optaron por ignorarla. No quieren malquistarse con los grandes empresarios, necesitan su apoyo, y el de sus televisoras, en la campaña presidencial.
Enrique Galván Ochoa. La Jornada 21/10/2009.

Nota:
En agradecimiento a sus votantes de todo el pais, el PRI y su aliado el PAN, les regala mas impuestos, IVA, impuesto sobre sus quincenas, internet y cable, etc. Asi que cada quince dias al recibir tu sueldo, al pagar en el super, al pagar gasolina y practicamente todo, acuerdate y agradece, al fin de cuentas seguiras votando por los mismos una y otra vez. Todo esto, ya lo sabemos, es resultado de la apatia, de tanto futbol y television. Asi que bravo, adelante y no cambies de canal, total unos pesos menos para tu familia. En algo somos buenos los mexicanos, somos los perfectos esclavos!

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October 21, 2009

Tina Modotti


Tina Modotti's house in Mexico City.
Assunta Adelaide Luigia Modotti was a beautiful woman, a minor star of the theater and silent film, and a political radical. She was born in Italy in 1896 and lived in San Francisco and Hollywood, then in Mexico City of the 1920s and in Berlin of the early 1930s.

For a brief seven years, Tina Modotti, as she is known, also was a fine-art photographer. She made still lifes appear as political symbols and flesh-and-blood women seem to be emblematic monuments.

But when she had to choose between art and devotion to the communist cause, she chose the cause. "I cannot solve the problem of life by losing myself in the problem of art" she wrote. First, though, she produced a visual legacy of beauty and strength.

Some have suggested that Modotti was introduced to photography as a young girl in Italy, where her uncle, Pietro Modotti, maintained a photography studio. Later in the U.S., her father briefly ran a similar studio in San Francisco. However, it was through her relationship with Edward Weston that Modotti rapidly developed as an important fine art photographer and documentarian. Mexican photographer Manuel Alvarez Bravo divided Modotti’s career as a photographer into two distinct categories: "Romantic" and "Revolutionary." The former period includes her time spent as Weston’s darkroom assistant, office manager and, finally, creative partner. Together they opened a portrait studio in Mexico City and were commissioned to travel around Mexico taking photographs for Anita Brenner’s book, "Idols Behind Altars."

In Mexico, Modotti found a community of cultural and political avant guardists. She became the photographer of choice for the blossoming Mexican mural movement, documenting the works of José Clemente Orozco and Diego Rivera. Her visual vocabulary matured during this period, such as her formal experiments with architectural interiors, flowers and urban landscapes, and especially in her many lyrical images of peasants and workers. Indeed, her one-woman retrospective exhibition at the National Library in December 1929 was advertised as "The First Revolutionary Photographic Exhibition In Mexico." She had reached a high point in her career as a photographer, but within the next year she was forced to set her camera aside in favor of more pressing concerns. [ Wiki ]

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October 20, 2009

The Twist


Giro (Twist) 1973 sculpture by Alexander Liberman at Rufino Tamayo Museum.

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October 19, 2009

The Liquid Clown


"Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality."
"A person needs a little madness, or else they never dare cut the rope and be free."
Nikos Kazantzakis

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October 18, 2009

Quietly / En Silencio


“Happiness is like a butterfly which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”
(" La felicidad es como una mariposa, cuando la persigues, siempre esta fuera de tu alcance, pero cuando te detienes en silencio, puede posarse sobre ti.") Nathaniel Hawthorne

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October 17, 2009

Clouds through Windows


Arcos Bosques Tower 1 is a prominent skyscraper in Mexico City. It was designed by Teodoro González. It is 36 stories tall, with 33 levels of office space. It is composed of two parallel columns of 31 floors and 4 more floors at the top joined by a lintel. It is colloquially known as El Pantalón ("The Trousers").

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October 16, 2009

JM


Abandoned Car. An old Volkswagen Brasilia.

The Doors of Perception is a 1954 book by Aldous Huxley.
The title comes from William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell:
"If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite.
For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern."

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October 15, 2009

Monastery



Franciscan convent and Cathedral of Cuernavaca.
Cuernavaca is the capital of the state of Morelos. The construction on its cathedral began in 1533 to serve as a shrine to the adjacent Franciscan convent. There is an open chapel with vaults with gothic ribs built between 1536 and 1538 next to the cathedral. It is still possible to see pieces of mural paintings from the sixteenth century in the cloister of the convent. The chapel of the Third Order whose facade was built in baroque style and which has a beautiful altarpiece made of carved wood is located in the atrium.

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October 14, 2009

Street Mural


Sign: Misc. La Esperanza [Miscellaneous The Hope] Miscellaneous, old stores or minimarkets not in use anymore, displaced by big chains of stores. The image of the Virgin of Guadalupe and the name Hope don't help against 'progress'.

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October 12, 2009

Streets



The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
From The Wisdom of the Heart by Henry Miller.

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October 11, 2009

Columpio Sonoro / Sonorous Swing






"Esfuérzate, siempre y en todo, por obtener a la vez lo útil para los demás y lo agradable para ti mismo." G.I. Gurdjieff

Columpio Sonoro / Sonorous Swing by Vicente Rojo (Sculptor) 2005.
Vicente Rojo Almazán es un pintor y escultor mexicano, aunque nacido en 1932 en Barcelona, España, ciudad en la que hizo sus primeros estudios de escultura y cerámica.

En España hace sus primeros estudios de dibujo, cerámica y escultura en 1946 en la Escuela Elemental del Trabajo.

Llega a México en 1949, reclamado por su padre, el cual residía aquí como refugiado político desde el fin de la Guerra Civil Española.

Vicente Rojo es sobrino del general Rojo, el más acreditado jefe de las tropas de la Segunda República Española que se opusieron al golpe de estado protagonizado por el general Franco.

Trabajó en el suplemento México en la Cultura de la oficina de ediciones del Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes; asimismo colabora con la Revista de la Universidad de México y la revista La cultura en México (1962-1974) de la Revista Siempre!.

Obtenida la nacionalidad mexicana, estudia pintura en la escuela de arte La Esmeralda y realiza durante estos más de cuarenta años una amplia obra en pintura, diseño gráfico y en fechas más recientes escultura.

Exponiendo en numerosas ocasiones en México y eln el extranjero a partir de 1958, en 1991 es galardonado con el Premio Nacional de Arte y el Premio México de Diseño, habiendo participado en el diseño gráfico de diversas publicaciones culturales como la Revista de Bellas Artes, la Revista de la Universidad, UNAM, Plural, México en el Arte y el periódico La Jornada, entre otros.

Cofundador en 1960 de la editorial Era, de la cual forma parte en el consejo editorial y como director de arte. Miembro de la llamada generación de la Ruptura, es una figura importante y destacada dentro de las artes estéticas de este país y su figura es altamente respetada por colegas y círculos intelectuales en general, siendo considerado uno de los artistas más importantes del abstraccionismo en México.

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October 9, 2009

Arboreus


Ahh, Happy Weekend!



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October 8, 2009

The Crossing




Crossing the street.
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October 7, 2009

Rural Scenes




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October 6, 2009

Nectar


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October 5, 2009

Shame


Without hope and asking God for help, education for their children, jobs, health care, security, services don’t provided by the Mexican State, but politicians and catholic hierarchy, they take care of themselves:


May 22, 2006 Issue
Copyright © 2009 The American Conservative.
While the country’s poor flee, Mexico’s elite take care of themselves.
By George W. Grayson
Mexico City—A watchword of Mexican politics is “Show me a politician who is poor and I will show you a poor politician.” In accord with this adage, many Mexican officials enjoy generous salaries and lavish fringe benefits. Even as they live princely lifestyles, they and their fellow elites pay little in taxes and refuse to spend sufficient money on education and health care to create opportunities in Mexico—a country that abounds in oil, natural gas, gold, beaches, fish, water, historic treasures, museums, industrial centers, and hard-working people. Rather than mobilizing these bountiful resources to uplift the poor, Mexico’s privileged class noisily demands that Uncle Sam open his border wider for the nation’s “have nots.”

Mexico’s establishment also keeps quiet about the salaries and benefits that its members receive. Private-sector executives are especially secretive. Thanks to Forbes magazine, however, we know that Mexico leads Latin America with ten billionaires, including telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helú, the world’s third richest person with $30 billion. And an increasing amount of data is available on the earnings of public officials. The numbers show that Mexico’s governing class is enriching itself at the country’s expense, with exorbitant salaries and bountiful perks. Remember, these are “official” figures. Most politicians have ingenious ways of fattening their bank accounts.

The salaries of top Mexican government officials match or exceed those of comparable figures in Europe and much of the rest of the world. President Vicente Fox ($236,693), for example, makes more than the leaders of the U.K. ($211,434), France ($95,658), Canada ($75,582), and most other industrialized countries (POTUS earns $400,000).

The 500 members of Mexico’s notoriously irresponsible Chamber of Deputies, which is in session only a few months a year, each made $148,000 last year in salary and bonuses—roughly on a par with Italian and Canadian legislators and substantially more than their counterparts in Germany ($105,000), France ($78,000), and Spain ($32,311), where living costs are markedly higher. Other legislators in Latin America receive substantially less; for example, those in Bolivia earn $28,000 for a four-month session. Legislators in the Dominican Republic take home $68,500 for six months of service.

Even better work, if you can get it, is to be found in the judicial branch of the Mexican federal government. In 2005, the 11 justices on the National Supreme Court of Justice—equivalent to the U.S. Supreme Court—received $311,759, compared to $194,200 for their American counterparts. (The U.S. Chief Justice earns $202,900.)

State-level Mexican officials are amply rewarded as well. Salaries and bonuses place the average compensation of Mexican governors at $125,759, which exceeds by almost $10,000 the mean paychecks of U.S. state executives ($115,778). Narciso Agúndez Montaño runs Baja California Sur. Although his state has only 424,041 residents, he earns $277,777. This is $100,000 more than the salary of Arnold Schwarzenegger, who governs 36,132,147 Californians.

And so on…

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October 4, 2009

Señora Ciclista / Lady Cyclist





Joy Laville. Painter, sculptor. 1923. Isle of Wight, England.
Señora Ciclista / Lady Cyclist. 2005.
From the exhibition on Paseo de la Reforma.

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October 2, 2009

Shadows of Molango



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October 1, 2009

Theme Day: Contrast



Rothko on The Beach.
Isla Mujeres [Women Island], Cancun. Mexico


Click Here To View Thumbnails For All Participants


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