The art gallery

We normally don’t spend a lot of time in art galleries.

Contemporary ceramics on display, Montevideo, Uruguay

Yesterday was an exception.

Contemporary ceramics on display, Montevideo, Uruguay

The current show features five contemporary ceramic artists,

Contemporary ceramics on display, Montevideo, Uruguay

Contemporary ceramics on display, Montevideo, Uruguay

each with a unique “voice,” as the introduction states.

each with a unique “voice,” as the introduction stated.

The gallery has a skylight, which casts dramatic shadows.

Mexican Embassy, Montevideo, Uruguay

The setting, an old building with exposed brick and very old beams, is quite lovely. Not a bad place to spend an hour when you have no choice.

And we had no choice. We were waiting for legal papers. Specifically, a power of attorney to sell some property in Mexico.

What’s that got to do with an art gallery?

All the pictures above are from the ground floor of the Mexican Embassy in Montevideo. When we arrived, the receptionist remember who we were, and why we were there. The consul was gracious and welcoming.

Mexican Embassy, Montevideo
The Mexican Embassy in Montevideo: warm and welcoming.

Now, I have nothing bad to say about the US Embassy personnel in Montevideo. They were in fact surprisingly accommodating when I recently renewed my passport.

US Embassy, Montevideo
US Embassy in Montevideo. Not warm and welcoming.

But one can’t help but notice the contrast, even without surrendering all personal possessions and passing through several bomb-proof doors for the privilege of entering.

Construction symbolically started on July 4, 1966. US Independence day. At that time, the diplomatic pouch from Washington, DC, sometimes included fine wires that could be inserted between teeth, in order to apply an electrical charge to the gums. No, it wasn’t for oral hygiene.

Not a pleasant story, but essential reading: Uruguay, 1964 to 1970: Torture—as American as apple pie.

2 comments

  1. arte says:

    thanks for your veracity. so many americans gloss over the ugly things the US has done – yes, torture then, “enhanced interrogation” now – mostly of innocents we have just learned.
    (see democracynow.org 13oct2016 show)
    Howard Zinn should be mandatory reading.
    Your embassy architecture contrast is nice. in many countries the US embassy is so isolated, so foreboding & Mordor-like, so heavily protected, that it really can not be reached. i tried for days (as a citizen of the US) to enter the embassy in Islamabad, (just to visit) but never got past the outside gates.

    • Doug says:

      In my twenties, wandering in the middle east, after five weeks without talking to a native English speaker, I tried to make *any* contact with a “fellow American” at the US base/listening post in Gaziantep, Turkey. Hell no fucking way.

      Since posting, I’ve downloaded William Blum’s “America’s Deadliest Export – Democracy.” Just one chapter in and WOW. Highly recommended.

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