1 LIVING IN STEREOTYPE
Recently, WikiLeaks released a secret diplomatic memo that included an interview with a Turkish student applying for a work visa. The student thought driving a pedicab in San Diego would be easier than New York, because, at least on television, Mexicans seem smaller.
“God willing,” the student said, “the Americans in San Diego have intermarried with their southern neighbors, thereby producing lighter citizens than in the Big Apple.”
William “Memo” Nericcio explodes with laughter when he hears this. Chicano stereotypes are the SDSU lecturer's bread and butter. Or, better yet, his bean and burrito. Nericcio is the spirit behind Mextasy: Seductive Hallucinations of Latina/o Mannequins Prowling the American Unconscious, a traveling and ever-evolving exhibit that features historical “racist artifacts,” as well as art by Mexican-Americans. For example, in one installation, the public is encouraged to take photos of themselves pretending to be Mexican maids and kneeling Catholics.
“We're trying to exorcise the legacy of stereotypes,” Nericcio says. “They're demons. They'll never go away, but the show wants to foreground them so you never think about them the same way again.”
Mextasy is on display at the Centro Cultural de la Raza (2004 Park Blvd. in Balboa Park) through Sept. 10. From 8 to 11:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, Nericcio will headline a tie-in celebration, Chicanoholics Anonymous, which also stars the band Los Hollywood, academic Josh Kun and OC Weekly editor and syndicated “Ask a Mexican” columnist Gustavo Arellano.
“I have no idea what I'm doing, actually,” Arellano said via email, asked what he's reading. “Since it's Nericcio's production, maybe I'll do some Dadaist art by having my performance be eating a California burrito!” Speaking of burritos, that's exactly why the Turkish student is mistaken.
“The poor guy is going to be sadly deceived because the obesity rates among Mexicans and Mexican-Americans is through the roof,” Nericcio says.
“We just love our burritos.”
2 THE BEAT GOES ON
If driving beats and synthesizers are your thing, bust out those glow sticks because the Abstract Music Festival is getting the party started on Broadway Pier (Broadway and N. Harbor Drive) on the Downtown bayfront. The event brings big names in electronic music from around the world to two stages from 5 p.m. to midnight Saturday, Sept. 10. Spinning the turntables—or poking at the laptop keys—are dubstepper EXCISION, electronic pioneer Z-trip, experimental DJ Flying Lotus and Russian mixmaster Arty, among others. This is an 18-and-up event, with a beer garden for revelers of legal drinking age. If your feet need a break from dancing, grab a seat on the Ferris wheel that will be standing tall and overlooking the bay. abstractfest.com
3 TO THE FIELDS
San Diego's urban farmers are everywhere these days, from schoolyards and vacant lots to raised boxes in front yards. Rebuild Global, a nonprofit with a focus on socially responsible and sustainable design, wants to take you on a bicycle tour to meet some of the local folks on the forefront of the urban-farming movement. Grab your bike and meet at Matthew Sherman Elementary (301 22nd St. in Sherman Heights) at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, and join the first-ever Tour de Farm, a whirlwind educational trek. You'll learn gardening techniques and about how you can get involved in supporting the local food system. There'll be an after-party at The Linkery (3794 30th St. in North Park) following the ride. Your $25 registration goes to the garden at Sherman Heights Elementary and Rebuild Global's Green Gardens Grow program. rebuildglobal.org/tourdefarm