Images courtesy of Museo Frida Kahlo
Despite the devastating effects of the coronavirus shutdowns on the business of culture, what has been most encouraging has been the remarkable creativity that has grown out of this terrible crisis. To wit, livestreamed DJ sets, Zoom thinktanking sessions…we could go on.
Mexico has been hit particularly hard, of course, with nearly half a million cases and more than 53,000 deaths reported up to now. But the urgency to reengage with its hallowed cultural institutions is surely fueled by the reality of the inarguable healing power of art. We need culture right now to stay sane. And so it was that renowned Mexican contemporary artist Mario García Torres hatched the idea for the new Museos Uno En Uno, or Museums One In One program, which allows art lovers the almost zen-like experience of having a museum entirely to themselves for a period of 40 minutes—with Torres, select fellow artists, and invited curators acting as custodians.
Inaugurating the program are the Museo Frida Kahlo and the Museo Anahuacalli, the latter devoted entirely to Diego Riviera. Symbolically, it makes perfect sense, as the exalted couple holds an almost mythical status in Mexico, one which has carried over through the generations. So the opportunity to commune alone with their works, and their tumultuous but ceaselessly inspiring story—with minimal intrusion from museum staff—carries the genuine possibility for a deeply-spiritually-imbued moment or two, certainly.
No surprise, among the sponsors of the program are boutique hotel stalwarts Grupo Habita, who have made a mission these last twenty years of creating and nurturing a cultural community around their cognoscenti-magnet, destination design hotels, from Mexico City to Oaxaca and beyond.
Explains Habita Managing Partner Rafael Micha of the program, “Our committed and ongoing support of the arts and the continuing sponsorship of Mario García Torres’ idea @museuosunoenuno was a no brainer. And to do so in the iconic Frida Kahlo Casa Azul, honoring one of Mexico’s most celebrated artists, was a welcomed challenge—but will now be a reality starting August 18th.”
And it’s a startlingly not expensive proposition, with a price tag of $250 MX, about $12 US. And considering the sheer once-in-a-lifetimeness of being handed the keys to an entire museum, it seems a particularly egalitarian gesture.
The Museums One In One program will continue on to other prominent Mexican museums—though any further specifics have yet to be announced.