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Designer's "Bathroom Stall Graffiti" on Display at Mexico Museum
MEXICO CITY.- (EFE) A series of drawings by Mexican graphic designer Alejandro Magallanes that resemble "bathroom stall graffiti" - basic sketches with a simple and jocose message - are being displayed beginning Wednesday at the Museum of Mexico City.

"I hope this exhibit is seen as bathroom stall graffiti, that too much thought doesn't go into it but you understand it in your own way," Magallanes, 38, said in an interview with Efe.

The exhibit, titled "Seguir siendo" (Keep Being) after the song by Mexican alternative rock group Cafe Tacuba, includes several notebook paper drawings hung on the wall, an animated video about a flying character and three-dimensional sketched figures related to the video.

Also among the curious aspects of this exhibit is a second video of a talking puppet, whom viewers can only hear with the use of headphones.

The puppet turns out to be a female psychologist who is asked to interpret the signs and symbols of the animated video, a task she takes on without knowing anything at all about the artist or his work.

For her, many of the images in the video have phallic or sexual connotations, although she also associates them with freedom and the maternal relationship.

Magallanes joked that the psychologist should have reached the conclusion that the artist belongs in an "insane asylum," although he said each individual must decide what the artwork means for him or her personally.

"This work has no specific purpose; they're just sequences of things that gradually occurred to me without my giving them much thought," Magallanes said.

Another novel aspect of the exhibit is that two songs off the latest album by Cafe Tacuba, "Tengo todo" (I Have it All) and "Seguir Siendo" (Keep Being), play repeatedly while the audience is viewing the artwork.

The songs contain phrases that can be roughly translated as "When I don't want anything, I have it all, when I don't want anything, I have more"; "mine isn't mine if it's only mine"; "I'm the one who lives among the shadows, if you try to name me you'll be wrong, you'll always confuse me;" and "I could do it again and again just to keep being me."

"The lyrics mean a lot to me," said Magallanes, who wanted to see how some images "that don't have a conscious sequence" relate to the the music to produce a new result.

The graphic designer said much of his work involves creating posters for plays and children's books, among other projects.

Magallanes also designs political posters, although he said ahead of Mexico's July 5 midterm congressional elections that the "visual contamination produced by so many empty proposals and so many stupid smiles is outrageous."

"What I do with my work is to try to have fun with it, whether it's a book for children or a very hard-hitting political poster. What really keeps me motivated is the creative process," the graphic designer said. EFE/Laura Gonzalez de Artaza.



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