26 May 2008

They Dutch, They Mexican

Left Charles Esche
Last Saturday at the opening of the exhibition Be(come)ing Dutch in Eindhoven I was surprised to hear the Van Abbe Museum director, Charles Esche talking about himself about being Scot-Dutch. He also described some Dutch cultural particularities as "we Dutch this" or "we Dutch that".
I commented him that in contrast to that way I always talk about "they Dutch" or "they Mexican". In that sudden moment I though it was probably an example to be followed.
This idea stayed in my mind and I realized that being as literal as I am I cannot say "We Mexicans" any more as I really feel that I look to most cultural outings as generalizations of people there and I am geographically and in time relatively detached. I would rather say something technically more exact as: -when I was leaving there- or -most Mexicans do this...-.
And in relation to being able to say "we Dutch" it is not only that I do not feel accepted as Dutch in the Netherlands, (even though I repeat to my self every day: I am Dutch, I am Dutch, like pretending that if I say it often enough it will become truth) but I am seen as a Mexican speaking rather decent Dutch, with a broad information on Dutch matters, but hardly any one of those that think they are 'real Dutch' would say by themselves: -oh here, I want to introduce you to the Dutch artist Marisa Polin!-
Funny enough I can only be Dutch, and believed of being Dutch, when I am neither in The Netherlands nor in Mexico. Another strange thing is outside the two countries I would say about half of the time that I am Mexican and the other half that I am Dutch, as if was trying to be fair.
I really enjoy being taken as "Dutch" when I am abroad. I let the purple-Bordeaux NL passport casually be seen by others. But I know I am also the deep dark green of the Mexican passport.
I want to be both, I want to be none.
But, what is it that I am?
I don't think I will ever use the "we Dutch" or the "we Mexican" and maybe by the only reason that I don't believe in that kind of generalization.

Here some shots I took at the opening.

Mr. Van Abbe, grandson of the collector.

The public 'fought' for a place for some of the works that were restricted to 1, 4 or few visitors. Apparently that was the reason we missed the best one, about a theoretical exile of Jews in the year 2048.

Hadassa Hemerich

Fiona Tan

Probably one of my favorite works, with the girls.

For some of the works was, within the huge crowd, difficult to find the description card. As I heard, not until the last moment, as often happens, was the exhibition ready and maybe were some of the cards forgotten or placed very discreetly.

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