Thursday, January 22, 2015

History Repeating Itself

Casa Estudio Luis Barragan
Simon Starling, Turner Prize Winner in 2005, is in town. He's been working on two Mexican projects for the last few years.
One of them is at Casa Estudio Luis Barragan, the former house/studio of revered Mexican architect, Luis Barragan, who lived there from 1948 until his death in 1988. It's a beautiful Modernist building with rough, colourful walls in a quiet neighbourhood, just south of Polanco, and has been a museum for the last 20 years. 
Starling at CELB
The room where Barragan worked is now a gallery, given over to small exhibitions by architects and artists. Starling's exhibition is called Bowls, plates - the former being some contemporary renderings of a silver bowl owned by Barragan, the latter being daguerrotype photographs of other objects. Pleasing in their own right but fascinating if you know the story behind them (which would take too long to go into here). Suffice it to say, there is an eerie ghostly quality about both.
The other project is a film, at a gallery called El Eco. Again, it's about mixing up the past with the present. Back in 1953, Henry Moore visited Mexico City and ended up, almost by accident, doing some large murals in El Eco. Later, the owner, Mathias Goeritz, photographed a 15 year-old dancer, Pilar Pellicer, in front of Moore's skeletal illustrations... and that was that. The mural disappeared, Goeritz died and the dancer went on too become an actress. Anyway, Starling  became interested in the interior and the ghostly photographs and wrote to the now 76 year-old Pellicar. He proposed making a short film of her, revisiting her past. The murals are no longer there, but for ten minutes the camera follows her around as she poses, stretches her now old dancing legs and re-enacts a memory of some 60 years ago. It was rather poignant. 

No comments:

Post a Comment