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Art & Social Space
On the brink of an Emerging Establishment or an Emerged Death?
by Jennifer Teets

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II. Spaces/in-situ continued.

The youngest space in town that has operated successfully, though it only presents events bimonthly, is the gathering spot of "Sábados en Chyg's" i.e. El Restaurante Verde (2002-to present)/(Saturday's at Chyg's/The Green Restaurant). Founded by artists Renato Ornelas and Kelly Coats, the project ironically coincides with Coats' ongoing, even lifelong intention to dress in green, giving up her entire wardrobe back in her art-school days in Cincinnati. The fonda-type restaurant, decorated in green, still serves food daily, but gives itself over for artist intervention on occasional Saturdays from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Ornelas and Coats thought to keep with the tradition of the eatery by proposing in-situ based work that integrates food or the restaurant's architecture in any sort of way from situations, actions, conversation, exchange, and music. To this day, it has hosted three events with everything from food goods like curries, shrimp soups, tacos, corn, spices, numbered pancakes, etc. Other non-edible works include fruit loop sculptures, grass tables, checkered bibs, ceramic wishbones, etc. The space recalls the gatherings and festivities of "La Panaderí­a" (later discussed), often inviting DJ's and musicians (Duopandamix -Gabriel Acevedo-and Son Electrodómesticos, among others) to provide ambiance for the visiting crowd. Developing commentaries on the everyday character of the space, "Sábados en Chyg's," awaits more regular openings and funding for the upcoming years. Until today, they are the only space mentioned that has survived independently.

III. Spaces/produced work and in-situ

A recent fuss by the county delegation has entangled "Programa Art Center's" (1999-present) objectives in a mess of legal problems, questioning the state of the space as a cultural center or hedonistic haven. Founded in 1999 by local artists Iñaki Bonillas and Stefan Brçggemann in an old Sumesa supermarket (Kroger or HEB), the space was immediately shut down and fined in October after complaints of parties until five in the morning as well as hosting the headquarters for businesses like, Noiselab/Noiselab Next (a local music label and art organizing collective). However, "Programa" is back in operation after paying the $60,000 peso fine that was collected through a December 17th artist auction with works of Luis Miguel Suro and Pedro Reyes, for example, selling for $1,500-$2,000 pesos. Though the space may be involved in a series of legal problems, over the past four years they have maintained their exhibitions and status on the international front, inviting artists and curators like Maurizio Cattelan, Tom Friedman, Thomas Demand, Jurgen Teller, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Daniel Pflumm, who incidently designed Programa's logo, Nicolas de Oliveira, Nicola Oxley, and Jeremy Wood. Closely linked to the fashion and design scene, they have also rented their space out for private use and hold openings for magazines like Celeste and Purple. Independent? Emerging? It is doubtful these labels apply in the strictest sense, for the space gathers most of its arts support in Mexico City from sponsors, the likes of which include: Gran Centenario Tequila, Lucky Strike, Louis Vuitton, La Colección Jumex, amongst many, many others.

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