Friday, January 20, 2017

El Paso: Art Museum: Beautiful Bones - Hermosos Huesos

El Paso Museum of Art, November 2016.

November 2016

Wayne Hilton's Hermosos Huesos was a special exhibit during my first visit to the El Paso Museum of Art.

Hello, baby. Is that a bone in your pocket or are you just glad to see me? Hermosos Huesos piece. El Paso Museum of Art. November 2016.

(Bad joke mine and not the artist's.)

In this 2012 video, Mr. Hilton introduces the exhibit, which debuted in 2013:

There is an understandable fascination with the overlapping worlds of death and life that Mexico and the American Southwest recognize circa the Day of the Dead - El Día de los Muertos. Artwork, songs, poems, books - so much devoted to the dead-just-over-the-other-side.

In El Paso and Juarez, there is also the malignant shadow cast by the slaughter of hundreds (more?) of women in the state of Chihuahua, many buried near the border Wall. So many wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, neighbors, friends butchered - their endings like frayed hems, in an unraveling cloth that one can't cut cleanly.

Hermosos Huesos piece. El Paso Museum of Art. November 2016.

Below are a few other pieces in the museum that drew me in :

El Paso Museum of Art, November 2016.

I really like the giant poster above. It's in the main foyer of the museum. It is like a declaration of Who We Are in El Paso. We are standing up and looking you straight in the eye.

El Paso Museum of Art, November 2016.

I like the work above because it is an example of how alive the Revolution still is in El Paso and Juarez. It also depicts for me the sameness of terror. I think Dostoevsky got it all wrong when he said all happy families are the same; all unhappy families are different. Nope. You can find many ways to happiness. What works for you might not work for me. But when it comes to hurting others, it's pretty much the same tools and techniques for centuries present and past.

A slide show of Hermosos Huesos:

Hermosos Huesos

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