In Mexico City, a PST LA/LA presentation becomes a cultural salvo in favor of U.S.-Mexico exchange

Under ordinary circumstances, the gathering of several dozen artists, U.S. museum leaders and journalists for a news conference at the Museo Jumex, the contemporary art museum in Mexico City’s tony Polanco neighborhood, wouldn’t be noticed beyond art world insiders interested in upcoming programs and collaborations for this fall’s Pacific Standard Time exhibitions to be held all over Southern California. But these days, as tensions grow between the Trump administration and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, hardly any exchange between the United States and Mexico could be qualified as ordinary.

Joan Weinstein, deputy director of the Getty Foundation, which has poured more than $16 million into PST LA/LA, as the project is known, noted Tuesday morning in her opening remarks that in the current political climate, it was important to strengthen the cultural connections between the two countries.

She then played a short video overview of the project, whose voice-over narration (prepared months before Trump assumed office) stated: “It's time to provoke conversations around the relationship between North and South America. It’s time to challenge every line, perimeter and border.”

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Chris Alexakispolicy