According to its website, the Jumex Museum in Mexico City is about “…the exhibition and activation of contemporary art.” However, there was no activation when Ruth & I were there. In fact, there was nothing there because, being between exhibitions, Jumex was only opened so that people could visit its restaurant. Upcoming was “How to Work Together”, the collaboration of 2 Swiss artists who used people dressed like a rat and a bear to create “…a ‘witty’ misuse of cultural genres.” To me, the pictures in the lobby showed how close the words whimsical and silly are to being synonyms. I was glad it didn’t open until June 9. We had to content ourselves with a look at Jeff Koons golden bird (is it a swan?) in Jumex’s courtyard. Our disappointment was increased by the fact that we got lost trying to find Jumex even though it was next door to Museo Soumaya and we had to ignore a warning in many guide books to “never use a street taxi for transportation”. A local traveler’s guide that I came to mistrust called Jumex “one of the most important exhibitions of contemporary art in Mexico” and implied that it permanently displayed the Jumex collection, “one of the largest in Latin America”.
We walked a long way down Colima Street to find another museum that The Travelers Guide to Mexico City recommended under the heading WHAT TO SEE, the Museo del Objeto. This Guide said that MODO was dedicated to showing an amazing collection of objects that are meaningful for their design, historic value, etc. Sounds fine, huh? Well, its current and only show was called EROTISMOS, an exposition of sexual images that was barely a step above Internet porn. Even the gift shop was erotically seedy. The man in charge was embarrassed and apologetic. Unless you’re fluent in Spanish, Mexico City can be difficult; and I suspect that all this talk about wall building is making many Mexicans really dislike Americans.
The 3rd museum was the best of the 3, but it too specialized in only temporary shows. Again, the local traveler’s guide promised that it “permanently exhibits the work of artist Rufino Tamayo”. I found exactly one work. Its accompanying description called it a matriarchal figure in a Oaxaca market. To me it looked like a weird Picasso female behind 2 enormous pink cupcakes. At least this museum was in Bosque de Chapultepec and its architecture and restaurant were excellent. The latter afforded us a chance to eat prickly pear cactus. Even our reliable Eyewitness travel guide raved about the Museo Rufino Tamayo’s “fabulous collection” and ranked it #7 among Mexico City’s Top 10 Museums. I assume the Eyewitness writer saw a really fine temporary show.