Oaxaca + Monte Alban

Oaxaca has been a nice change of pace to Mexico City. Although I’ve been a little, disappointed that it’s not quite the creative city persistently described. In terms of contemporary art, the only real exception has been the Manuel Garcia Arte Contemporaneo, where we saw some interesting smaller works in its Project Space. Oaxaca is more geared for purchasing craft, in fact, it’s one of the top 3 things the city recommends to do. We’ve picked up some great Day of the Dead items at the particularly good women’s co-op – MARO AC The Regional Association of Craftswoman of Oaxaca (5 de Mayo #240 Centro), which isn’t mentioned in any of the publicity materials.

The Zapotec ruins just outside of Oaxaca city at Monte Alban were on our itinerary as they were mentioned by Jorn Utzon in his essay ‘Platforms and Plateaus: Ideas of A Danish Architect’ (Zodiac 10,  1962). Situated on a flattened hilltop very close to the city it was thankfully greener and smaller than Teotihuacan. Utzon’s interest in Mexican platforms focuses on the way they reconfigure the terrain and therefore the relationship with the broader landscape. Louise was curious about Edificio J, which was an observatory. It is set on an angle to the other buildings and we thought it could be a reference for the Tamayo Museo in Mexico City.

Damian and Louise

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