Artist Eduardo Sarabia talks marijuana, magic, tacos and contemporary art at Huevos Revueltos

EduardoSarabiaHappy.jpg
"Happy," Eduardo Sarabia.
In Tainted, Guadalajara-based artist Eduardo Sarabia manipulates reality through a combination of paint and photography. Tapped to curate the Huevos Revueltos series at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Sarabia has invited invites artists, spiritual and legislative experts, and writers to discuss the cross-pollinating of contemporary art, politics and culture in Mexico over the next three Thursdays.

In advance of tonight's program, Sarabia spoke with Westword about how he chose the topics for Huevos Revueltos, what he hopes to bring out in conversations about marijuana legislation and shamanism, and how each ties into the contemporary art of Mexico.

See also:
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Westword: You currently have an exhibition, Tainted, hanging at the MCA through June 9. Is that what led you to curate the Huevos Revueltos lecture series?

Eduardo Sarabia: I think when we first talked about doing an exhibition -- we were organizing that for the last year -- we thought it would be cool to have parallel activities with it; doing a lecture and event series kind of made sense. The idea was to introduce themes that I'm kind of interested in that go with my work, but not in a direct way -- things that I think about and wanted to share.

What will you be talking about with the first topic, contemporary art in Mexico?

I think we wanted to do something really focused -- there are certain things that are happening in Mexico that are important right now. We're bringing in other artists who can co-speak with me about those things, who share the same ideas about certain artists and spaces in Mexico who are doing interesting things. For a long time, Mexico City has been the center of contemporary art in Mexico -- but there are things happening in other cities all over Mexico. That's important.

Can you talk a little about the lecture on May 23, Magic and Reality: Shamanism and Marijuana Legislation?

When I was thinking about organizing this lecture series, I was thinking about how drugs and drug violence in Mexico is just, like, totally blown out by the media outside of Mexico. It's a real thing that's happening there -- and it's a really negative thing. And that's what people think when they think about Mexico a lot.

It's affected tourism and a huge part of Mexico's economy because of it. Legalizing marijuana in Colorado is a new thing that happened,and I think a lot of people in Mexico sort of see that as a solution. Since we're in Colorado and we're talking about Mexico -- talking about the violence, the drugs, the drug trade and the drug economy in Mexico -- I wanted someone to come speak about the legislation. What it means to legalize marijuana and how in a weird way, it kind of effects Mexico and (it can be seen as) some kind of utopian idea and solution for the violence and the drugs in Mexico.

I thought it could be a really indirect way to talk about that kind of stuff? But having somebody who could really speak about what it means -- I don't even know exactly what it means. Do you?

No, I don't. I mean, clearly just from watching the legislation in Colorado change as it tries to follow the results or repercussions of legalization -- it is complicated.

I think there are also issues that need to be dealt with, like children, preventative drug programs -- there is a lot of stuff to think about. But a huge part is the economy -- even just paying taxes on something like that. At the end of the day, the United States is, I think, the largest consumer of drugs and marijuana in the world. So it does fuel these gangs and cartels to get into the United States.

I haven't met with the person (Jeff London) who is speaking on marijuana legislation, but I wanted him to just give a full-on introduction of what it is, what it means, how it got started, what's the ultimate goal. And to talk a little bit about how he thinks or to discuss how that could ultimately affect what's going on in Mexico.

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MCA Denver

1485 Delgany St., Denver, CO

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