Art and global culture

Roundabout exhibit at City Gallery. An international group of artists, including artists from the global south. First time I’d actually seen contemporary Indian art. Many of the pieces seemed unavoidably about globalization, portraying a seamless interpenetration of traditional and postmodern.
Gonkar Gyatso was typical in appropriating the absurd ordinaries of globalization, irridescent children’s stickers and corporate logos, revealing the intransigence of Buddha.

Nothing makes sense so might as well as fantasize. Chiho Ahoshima isn’t sure if it’s a tree or an octopus, death or springtime, part of nature or yearning separate, underwater or not. Everything is morphing into something else. Don’t even try to hold on.

Is it a stretch to try to make some sense for tango from this? Well I like the idea that we are part of the art world. That we can learn from what other artists are doing. Surely this exhibit is about the dualism between cultural fusions we don’t even choose because they are happening to us in the waves of globalization, one of which birthed tango. We tanguera/os are struggling to learn to share, gripping authority as it slips through the toes, parrying each fusion that comes, trading shifts on the guardwatch, fighting over the orthodox, whirling around to explain that tango has always been a fusion, has always been diverse, has always been changing, has always been shared.

Ironically —or profoundly— the exhibit included a panting by a Chinese artist, Feng Bin that reminds us how precious this dance is, and to touch it gently.

I want you to know that you are not alone…

… neither in your dreams for tango nor in your frustrations.

My deepest desire is the same as all my students and friends … those who have yet to start dancing and those who dance a lot.

It’s partnership.

One thing I’ve learned on this quest, we need to:

Stop Waiting for Partners, and start Building them.

I’ve written a 10-step Action Plan.

Are you ready to find the Partners you want?




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