Thursday, April 4, 2013

Azotar (part deux - uh, dos)

In my art collection I have a wonderful lithograph by Pedro Friedeberg.
"Gato con Gota"
But this is the one I wish I owned
This is the one I saw in a gallery I visited in San Miguel de Allende last week. The only reading I did before I said adios to the USA for a week were a few words about Mexico by Pedro Friedeberg, who is not a writer, but a provocative and wonderful artist. 

His art isn’t all that funny. But his words are funnier than Berry, funnier than Buchwald’s, funnier than Borowitz’s, funnier than Bombeck’s … maybe even funnier than George Carlin’s and David Stern’s.

"I was born in Italy,” Friedeberg wrote in a sort of curriculum-vitae. “It was during the era of Mussolini, who made all trains run on time. Immediately thereafter, I moved to México where the trains are never on time, but where once they start moving, they pass pyramids.

My education was first entrusted to a Zapotec governess and later to brilliant mentors such as Mathias Goeritz, who taught me morals, José González, who taught me carpentry, and Gerry Morris, who taught me to play bridge.

I invented several styles of architecture, as well as one new religion and two salads. I am particularly fond of social problems and cloud formations and my work is profoundly profound.

I admire everything that is useless, frivolous and whimsical. I hate functionalism, post modernism and almost everything else. I do not agree with the dictum that houses are supposed to be ‘machines to live in’. For me, the house and its objects are supposed to be some crazy things that make you laugh.

Americans do not understand Mexicans and vice versa. Americans find Mexicans un-punctual, they eat funny things and act like old-fashioned Chinese. When André Breton came to Mexico he said it was the chosen Country of surrealism. Breton saw all kinds of surrealist things happen here every day. The surrealists are more into dreaming, into the absurd and into the ridiculous uselessness of things. My work is always criticizing the absurdity of things. I am an idealist. I am certain that very soon now humanity will arrive at a marvelous epoch totally devoid of Knoll chairs, jogging pants, tennis shoes and baseball caps sideway use, and the obscenity of Japanese rock gardens five thousand miles from Kyoto.

I get up at the crack of noon and, after watering my piranhas, I breakfast off things Corinthian. Later in the day I partake in an Ionic lunch followed by a Doric nap. On Tuesdays I sketch a volute or two, and perhaps a pediment, if the mood overtakes me. Wednesday I have set aside for anti-meditation. On Thursdays I usually relax whereas on Friday I write autobiographies.”
  © 2011 Pedro Friedeberg

That’s all for today.
Please tune in tomorrow for mas on Mexico

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