You see, we are all mourning. I was born and raised and still live in ‘Mexico’ but I grew up on MTV, Friends, and 97% of the music I played was in English: I started thinking in English. Writing in English is so much more natural to me than writing in my ‘native’ language; I’ve received racist backhanded compliments for these skills in NY (none taken). I stopped identifying as ‘Mexican’ a long time ago, if I ever did (nope). Nationalism and patriotism are backward attitudes to me—and those are kind words. I often (very often) whistle, hum or sing the Star-Spangled Banner. Some of my friends are stunned when they hear me, but I just love the tune: Even smart people (still) believe in nations. America has perfected some of my favorite ideas: I’m all about ideas.
Since I was very young, just like a huge percentage of the world’s population, I guess, I wanted to live in America. I loved that song, before I could understand the words completely (I mean the one from West Side Story). I went to art school, (which could also be blamed on this Americanized cultural background when one considers how out of touch with the ‘Mexican’ reality this decision was) and art has always been a huge part of how I came to know and experience the world since I was very young, mostly through books.
I first became aware of the current clash between West and East following news regarding the Asian art market, back when I was running a gallery. I had always found contemporary Asian art a bit unimpressive (too flashy, virtuosistic and highly visual— I’m into ideas) and most of the names impossible to memorize. I’m a product of the West, if nothing else, I used to think. I read about the inflated auction figures, I studied the highest grossing artists and I even became incensed by this politically-motivated display of what else? power. Now, this war is fully raging. The dollar could have been killed by the yuan last year, or two years ago. The US made their move, and the ‘Mexican’ power elite (?) approved reforms allowing foreign investors access to oil and gas reserves in the country. Then America got involved in Syria, during the Arab Spring™, to export Democracy™, and then the media started dropping hints about a NEW ENEMY™ and then THINGS HAPPENED and OBAMA SAID THINGS and now they are bombing Syria but it’s actually ISIL™ they’re after. And Irak. And it’s all so crystal.clear, and I mean: did they think that the dollar would be a world reserve currency forever, or that they could just keep printing money, or that capitalism was sustainable??? So yes, we’re mourning. But what a dream it was. Such great ideas— what could have been. I honestly feel like crying rn.
(Daniel G. Lozano, from NUEVAS TETAS ™)