May 19, 2009

Back from Belgrade

At the airport:

Where are you from? Mexico. Uh... Scared face. When you were in Mexico the last time? January. Have you been in touch with Mexicans recently. Not at all. I lied. Sort of. I've been, but none of them has been recently in Mexico. Whatever. Please read this, wait there, and I'll call you again. A guy comes, takes my passport, and leaves. He comes with more flyers, is nice to me, and everybody looks at me a little bit worried.

At Emiljia's place:

Ah, there is a Mexican guy who has an "underground" bar. Quite new. Maybe you'll like to have a look at it. Yes, why not?

At the Tijuana's bar:

Two important roads in downtown make a narrow Y. Right in that urban angle, this Mexican guy, Víctor, has his bar in the first floor. He rented the flat and instead of moving in, he opened the bar. Not a single hint will lead you there. A paper glued to the door is the only sign. We come in, and find 5 or 6 people. Víctor is as nice as negative, pessimistic, depressed. After 30 minutes of conversation, when I am about to suggest to leave, he asks us what we want to drink. I ask for a Coke, we pay "as much as we want", and leave as soon as possible.

Museums night:

First we go to the House of the Students to see a historical survey of Marina Abramović's performances. The exhibition is not an exhibition, but a collection of pictures. The more interesting stuff there is a bunch of people gathered around the spiral staircase attending a theater play-performance on the cellar. I shoot a nice picture. Then we go to the Tesla Museum. The queue is 40 minutes long, so we go. We go to the World Press Photo. There are some pics far more interesting or better than the one which got the best prize, but of course, since USA is the point of attention, a USA-crisis-pic is the favourite for the jury. The collection has been stucked in two rooms, with the lights right behind us, so each time you stand in front of a picture your back starts to burn and a shadow is casted on it. But I enjoy it completely. We also go to the Ethnological Museum, right next to the University's main building and the Student's Park, and see the different dresses of all Balcanic regions. And finally we go to the highlight of the night: the exhibition about punishments for kids in the schools which is hosted by the Pedagogical Museum. I am afraid that the same curator as Abramović's prepared it: just a bunch of pictures taken out from some old German book, with the transcription full of mistakes. My Serbian is still not good enough as to understand it properly, and the cyrillic letters make me feel dizzy... So the best thing to do now, after bumping in Loki for a dinner, is go to the Supermarket.

At the Supermarket:

This is the only concept-store of the city. Trendy, fashion, avantgard, cool, you have to be there if you want to be considered as a (cool) person, since Serbians think a lot about what other people think about you... Exhausting as it can be in Mexico as well. We missed the concert of the Swiss jazz band, but for good. Swiss jazz band? Sounds as an metaphysical impossibility. The Swiss guys are very bored, wearing boring clothes, they are at a table next to ours sipping their beers. Another jazz band is playing very loudly, and the police came because one of the neighbors complained. Nobody cares, not even the police.

The moral of the story is:

Belgrade is not the best place to meet neither Mexicans nor Swiss. Here, the people are really thirsty of culture and art, and they want to use them as an excuse to socialize. Unfortunately, the technical know-how is still missing, and the budget is small.

No comments: