Mexican Civilization Past and Present (August 2005)

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During my vacation in Mexico, I explored the art and culture of Mexico City and Teotihuacan. Sites visited included the Metropolitan Cathedral, San Francisco Church and Museum of Anthropology. The Laboratorio de Arte Alameda (LAA) in Mexico City focused on the art-technology dialogue and included multimedia works of art. Even seeing the Aztec ruins and learning about the rituals was fascinating.

My charming hotel room, colored in pastel shades of orange and blue, overlooked the Zocalo where a campesino protest was occurring (in August 2005). Observing the large crowd gathered and hearing their cries further engaged me to their culture, as did the film, “Frida”. Although enchanted by the Mexican artist herself, I wanted to visit the country and ensure I wasn’t jaded by the movie’s depiction of Mexico. At the National Palace I saw the murals of Frida Kahlo’s husband, Diego Rivera. His work was indeed highly detailed and punctuated with political context.

I was curious to see Teotihuacan’s Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon, including the view from the top of the pyramids. The hike to the peak of the Pyramid of the Sun involved climbing up some steep steps. A rope had served as a railing, which had helped as it was a windy day. The view of the Avenue of the Dead from the summit was worth it. Descending the steep steps of the pyramid was the fun part.

It’s amazing to think of the life and culture established here during the days these pyramids were built. What we may consider as inhumane acts today was ceremonial then. Excavating and preserving these tokens of our past, e.g. archaeological sites, provide us with insight into the minds and imaginations of our predecessors.

Mexico City & Teotihuacan Gallery

Follow Jenny S.W. Lee:

Greater Boston, Seattle and Vancouver (BC) based artist & photographer exhibiting internationally.

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