17 February 2006
Day Off, Mexico City
A day off, which was welcome after ten days of running from dawn till dusk. Slept in and took the day at a walking pace. Spent the morning catching up on correspondence and the to do list, then decided to take up Damien Hirsts gallery owner on last nights offer that I should stop by today to look at the installation. Took a cab to the address hed given me and found a very nice gallery space, filled with technicians assembling the wildest selection of objects imaginable. The Damian Hirst show opens on Thursday so it was really interesting to see some of the assembly process. Its all new work and much of it is extremely arresting, featuring crucified sheep in formaldehyde, rosaries and a huge bulls heart pierced with skewers and razors. Its almost certain to cause uproar in as seriously Catholic a country as Mexico, so after the Danish cartoon demonstrations stay tuned for the Mexican sheep riots. One of the team was telling me how difficult it had been to ship all the material ('two of the sheep got stuck in customs') so I recommended our tour freight company. If a giant lemon didnt phase them, Im sure theyll take a few dead mammals in their stride.
From there I took a walk and found myself in a market, for the first time feeling like I was in Mexico. When you travel the way we do its easy not see anything but the tour itself. I wandered for a while before flagging down a cab and heading to an old theatre in the same part of town where U2 were shooting a video with Mary J. Blige. Marys version of One is on her current album, so Im guessing itll be a single, hence the video. I wasnt involved in the shoot professionally, but its always interesting to see how the other half lives. Paul Hunter was directing, whilst Jeff Cronenweth and team were busy filling the theatre so full of smoke that it became almost impossible to see across the room. Looked pretty cool on camera, though.
Didnt stay too long. After an hour, video shoots are much akin to watching paint dry so I headed back to the hotel. Weve got a long travel day tomorrow so made it an early night.