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Art for you, also coffee

It is normal to feel intimidated when a place feels out of your comfort zone, no one enjoys feeling like an outsider, but the world of art and the culture that surrounds it can be sometimes brutally distant. Imaginaria is a unique space in many ways, to begin with, it feels inviting, sincere and friendly. Imaginaria offers you a quiet and interesting space to drink coffee, tea or other more unusual drinks.

To be clear, Imaginaria is an art café located in Magdalena de las Salinas created by the artists Perrito and Amastiqué. I like it because it won’t sell you status, as any communications teacher would say, it just sells coffee and drawings. I like that it is a place deeply ingrained in the community that surrounds it. I enjoy the menu and I fancy the surrounding aesthetic when you inhabit the place.

Speaking with Perrito and Amastiqué, I relate deeply when they talk a little about the history of Imaginaria, originally it's a project that began in Ecatepec, State of Mexico where it existed for about a year. The State of Mexico is a strange place, people do not consider the countryside, but it is also not part of Mexico city and among all the limbos it inhabits, there is also one of culture and identity.

The State of Mexico is a place strictly for production, there is little space to endow a creative identity in its inhabitants, it is a town of blue collar workers. There are not many theaters, museums or galleries, there are no cultural areas, if you want to work in the art field, you are almost forced to move to Mexico City.

 

Imaginaria tries to be a different sort of beast and challenges that narrative, which even sometimes I believe it’s entirely true. Its current location, although within Mexico City, is still a working neighborhood and the goal is the same; integrating art and community, a community that is not used to it. Any artist, regardless of their standing, trajectory or background, can collaborate with Imaginaria, and may show off their work in the café without being charged a commission.

Imaginaria Café

 

By:  Ernesto Ocaña

As Amastiqué informs me, both of them subsist mostly from the sales of their menu and their own art, and they make it very clear that the support they give to other artists is not out of kindness, that it is simply how things should be, what they would have liked to experiment once. They do well especially in the afternoons and evenings, people in the community have adopted the café as a great place to relax after work and before sleeping.

Perrito tells me about a tweet he read the other day, that suggested that if a cultural café opened in your neighborhood, you needed to worry as your neighborhood was already in the process of gentrification. I find it very interesting that we consider artistic spaces as an automatic aggression against a town, many people see art as something bourgeois, they have convinced everyone that art and coffee outside our home is only for the privileged.

 

Imaginaria is anything but bourgeois; It is tremendously unpretentious and I mean it as a compliment, even with its pre-columbian drinks. It integrates itself with the community, that includes the raw materials for its menu that they get directly from local producers, but the café also integrates the community that surrounds it with their art and their artists. Cultural cafés usually are a bit intimidating for me, even though I'm no stranger to the art world, Imaginaria is asking for me to come back soon without saying a single word.

 

For me, this place fills a necessary niche, it is one of many similar projects, unfortunately many of them unknown. Life goes  fast and one suffers slowly, because we forget that everyday life must also be enjoyed. We need art for everyone, life is many things, but above all it is straightforward, simple, ordinary and Imaginaria seeks to bring art to our simple life to better survive it.

Imaginaria Café  Ig: @imaginaria.cafe

By: Ernesto Ocaña

Translated by Pao Berdeja

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     Inverösímil 

Edición #17

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