News and Events: Oaxaca, Mexico weaver and artist Erasto “Tito” Mendoza will be in Madison and Whitewater, Wisconsin, October 7-12, 2011, to discuss and demonstrate tapestry weaving techniques.
For weaver Erasto “Tito” Mendoza, weaving is more than a skill passed down through the generations of his Zapotec family. It is an art form that combines complexity of design, integration of traditional, ancient indigenous patterns with imagination and a contemporary sensibility. The result is a magnificent rendering of color, texture, pattern and interpretation.
Tito with his award-winning rug, Aires Zapotecos
The singer-songwriter Lila Downs has commissioned numerous pieces from Tito that are used in her performances and for public relations events. His work, “Aires Zapotecos” was a finalist in the VI International Biennale of Contemporary Textile Art. In 2010, Tito was invited to the juried and very selective Santa Fe International Folk Art Festival to show and sell his work. Carolyn Kallenborn, faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, chose Tito to feature in her documentary film Vidas Entretejidas–Woven Lives about Oaxaca and its weaving culture. He was one of six great Oaxaca weavers who were selected.
Lila Downs wearing a Tito Mendoza sarape, photo by Norma Hawthorne
Tito and his wife, Alejandrina Rios, who own the El Nahual Gallery on Av. 5 de Mayo in the Centro Historico of Oaxaca. will be in Wisconsin for the week of October 7-12. If you live anywhere in driving distance, I urge you not to miss this opportunity to meet them, chat and hear about their work.
An innovative tapestry by Tito Mendoza
Schedule of Events
Friday, October 7, 5:00 p.m. — Centro Hispano, Madison, WI, 810 Badger Road, http://micentro.org/ — Free and open to the public. A conversation with Tito and Ale and filmmaker Carolyn Kallenborn. At 6:00 p.m. there will be a screening of the film Vidas Entretejidas–Woven Lives in Spanish with English subtitles.
Friday, October 7, 7:00 p.m., Madison Weaver’s Guild — Oakwood Village, 5565 Tancho Drive, Madison. Contact Pat Hilts, firstname.lastname@example.org, with discussion and screening of Vidas Entretejidas–Woven Lives in English. The event is free and open to the public.
Tuesday, October 11, 3:30 p.m., University of Wisconsin–Whitewater, University Center Room 266, film screening and discussion, free and open to the public.
Wednesday, October 12, 1:20-3:50 p.m., UW-Madison Design Studies Department Weaving Class — Tito Mendoza will give a demonstration of tapestry weaving.
Carolyn’s film also features Federico Chavez Sosa, master weaver of Teotitlan del Valle. Translation assistance was provided by Eric Chavez Santiago, director of education at the Museo Textil de Oaxaca, and Janet Chavez Santiago, education coordinator at the Centro Académico y Cultural San Pablo.
For information, contact:
Carolyn Kallenborn, email@example.com
Film Website: www.wovenlivesoaxaca.com
Tito and Ale’s Oaxaca Gallery: www.elnahualfolkart.blogspot.com
and their email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photography: Cartier-Bresson Exhibition in Mexico City
The Mexico City exhibition featuring 398 pieces by French photographer-filmmaker Henri Cartier-Bresson closes May 17, 2015 at Palacio Bellas Artes. Please don’t miss it. Considered the founder of photojournalism, this is the first major retrospective since his death in 2004.
An hour is not long enough to absorb the emotional intensity of Cartier-Bresson’s work. If you love political history, photojournalism, the decades leading up to World War II and the beginning of photography as an important artistic and cultural vehicle for storytelling, you will love this exhibition. I needed more than two hours to do it justice.
It represents Cartier-Bresson’s interest in painting, drawing, photography and filmmaking. It is an in-depth view of pre and post-World War Europe, of poverty and racism, of what happens on the street among the people. There are also amazing portraits of notables who he was commissioned to photograph.
Oaxaca Day of the Dead Photography Workshop, October 2015
Chiapas Festivals and Faces Photography Workshop, January 2016
For example, the exhibit features photographs taken during the coronation of King George II of England. But Cartier-Bresson concentrates on the expressions of people in the crowd and not the regal procession. Some are using raised mirrors to watch the parade, and to do so, they must turn their backs to the King.
Cartier-Bresson uses this as a metaphor for how the people must turn away from monarchy and embrace a republican government.
Program Notes: Impressions of Africa. “He took little interest in local customs or ritual feasts, as he did not want to get drawn into “Exoticism” or what he called “detestable local colour.” In a style very much influenced by the European New Vision (high angle shots, geometrical compositions, repeating motifs) he tended to photograph subjects like children playing in the street, dockers at work or the effort of rowers in a boat: in other words, the rhythm of African life.
Aligned with the intellectuals and artists of the time, he was a powerful voice in support of Communism, active in the Spanish Civil War and the French Resistance.
As a contemporary of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, Cartier-Bresson came to Mexico to photograph, and many of the images shown capture the poor and disenfranchised, including children and prostitutes.
As I moved through the exhibition, I learned more about photography by seeing this work. Cartier-Bresson shunned fiestas and processions, the formalities of organized life. He concentrated on what was messy and spontaneous.
His technique was to find a backdrop with texture and interest that he liked and then wait for people to pass through the space.
As we walked from Palacio Bellas Artes to see the Diego Rivera mural Dream of a Sunday Afternoon on the Alameda, I stopped to take photos of young men practicing their skateboard moves a la Henri Cartier-Bresson — perhaps — and a man sitting on a steel post mid-sidewalk, waiting, surrounded by passersby who paid no attention.
The Decisive Moment, an essay by Cartier-Bresson, describes his philosophical approach to photography and is considered a foundation for all photographers.
Posted in Cultural Commentary, Photography, Travel & Tourism, Workshops and Retreats
Tagged art history, Chiapas, class, course, cultural immersion, Film, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Mexico, Oaxaca, photography, photojournalism, portrait, workshop