Lobby Huichol (Mexico City)

Mexico City. Hotel Lobby. There’s a slippery gray area between art exhibitions and commercial art endeavors. I have an aversion and deep mistrust of exhibitions in places like hotel lobbies. I went out of my way to see this excellent Huichol Arte Bienale, but I still felt uncomfortable about the context. An intricate dog watched as travelers met in the lounge area…


An elaborate coffin was lined up beside the check-in desk.


A vibrant torso faced the entry where the taxis pulled up…


And bell boys circled around a huge skull in the middle of the space…


It was a serious exhibition of current regional art. And I sensed that it was also on sale. There was a table manned by Huichol representatives. They were there to answer deeper questions about the symbolism of the art…and yes, there was a price list…I suddenly felt sympathetic to their dilemma; a hotel lobby is an obvious place to solicit needed financial support for an important tradition.


Telling visitors WHAT NOT TO THINK! Make no mistake, this negative text is meant to correct visitors (and shame them for their misconceptions)