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  • ICAA Record ID
    772055
    AUTHOR
    Pallares, Eduardo
    TITLE
    Exposición de Bruselas / Por EDUARDO PALLARES
    IN
    El Universal : El gran diario de México (México, D. F., México). -- Ago. 12, 1958
    DESCRIPTION
    p. 1 ; 13
    LANGUAGES
    Spanish
    TYPE AND GENRE
    Newspaper article – Essays
    BIBLIOGRAPHIC CITATION
    Pallares, Eduardo. "Exposición de Bruselas." El Universal: El gran diario de México (Mexico City), August 12, 1958.
    NAME DESCRIPTORS
    Delhumeau, Enrique
Editorial Categories [?]
Synopsis

This is an article based on a letter received by the reporter Eduardo Pallares from the writer and politician Enrique Delhumeau, who visited the 1958 Brussels Expo. In the letter he says “what others are whispering”: “The expo objectives that are being fully realized are: a ton of commercial propaganda and a ton of political propaganda.” Considerably fewer spectators attended than were forecasted at the beginning, he reports. The Mexican Pavilion, although well presented, was situated far from the center; its signs were in French, with no Spanish translation; there were no explanatory labels next to the photographs; the staff members who met the visitors were all from Spain. Also, there was harsh criticism of Fernando Gamboa’s curatorial concept: the photograph of the architect Carlos Pani and his wife in tails and evening gown was “undoubtedly to show that all of us over there do not dress in feathers or cowboy gear” and, “finally, the unavoidable photos of mourning and burial, consisting of several skulls and skeletons displayed in bad taste to show our adoration of death.”

Annotations

Undoubtedly, Delhumeau’s comments were true, especially those related to the commercial and political aspects of the World Fair in Belgium. The purpose was financial profits, even in the most trivial aspects: “There is not a single water fountain thus forcing visitors to consume soda and beer at double prices.” Turning scientific progress into aesthetic events was the upbeat thread running through presentations by parties during the Cold War. Belgium was hoping to win sympathy as the host and to obtain more support for its policy of domination in the Congo (a colony that had provided the uranium used to construct the bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima); Germany was making efforts to distance itself from the authoritarian image it had in World War II; and the United States was using the occasion to reinforce its anticommunist propaganda in Western Europe. Fernando Gamboa’s (1909-90) presentation of a modern Mexico without contradictions that were based on stereotypes preferred by European taste contributed to the “edifying” atmosphere of the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair.

Researcher
Diana Briuolo : CURARE A. C.
Team
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico
Credit

Location
Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliográficas : Biblioteca Nacional/Hemeroteca Nacional