When a group of artists and galleries grew tired of holding online events during the coronavirus pandemic, they came up with another idea: a drive-through exhibit in the underground parking garage of a Mexico City mall.
With videos, sculptures, photographs and even an old car, the contemporary show is called “Objects in the Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear” in an allusion to the experience of perceiving art from inside an automobile. The idea was inspired in part by a drive-through gentleman’s club that opened in Portland, Oregon, as a response to Covid-19, said one of the organizers.
“It’s a platform for artists to get their names out there and for people to experience art in person,” said co-creator Mariangeles Reygadas.
In other words, the art show must go on, even amid a worsening pandemic. The goal is to attract museum goers crimped by restricted hours and capacity limits at traditional venues, while also enticing people who are tired of months of staying home. In the exhibit, cars slowly drive through three levels of the parking garage while listening to an audio track that can be downloaded.
Outside the safety of a personal vehicle, the pandemic keeps getting worse. Cases in Mexico City stand at 179,791 with deaths at 16,683. Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, who tested positive herself last month, further restricted opening hours for restaurants, movie theaters and gyms last week.
Thus the potential attraction of events in which people never leave their cars. In the drive-through show, which has 37 pieces of art, there are currently six galleries involved and 24 artists, most of them Mexican and ranging from well-established to up-and-coming.