Uncommon People
September 18, 2018 8:32 AM   Subscribe

In 1999, Channel 4 sent Pulp's Jarvis Cocker around the world to investigate outsider art and interview its creators; the result was a fascinating three-part series: Part one (France). Part two (US). Part three (Mexico, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and India). A full list of the featured sites (some of which no longer exist) is posted here.
posted by carrienation (5 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
I remember seeing this when it was first shown! I always found the Chandigarh Rock Garden astonishin, the sheer implausibility of managing to hide 12 acres of art for 18 years.
posted by Damienmce at 8:42 AM on September 18, 2018

I love outsider art, definitely saving these for home later.
posted by GoblinHoney at 11:20 AM on September 18, 2018

This is great! I saw the first one when it was first shown and loved it, but missed the other two. Thanks carrienation!
posted by Fuchsoid at 6:09 PM on September 18, 2018

I visited the castles of James Edwards in Xilitla, Mexico (featured at the beginning of Part 3). It was one stop in an 8-month road trip from Detroit, Michigan to Nicaragua and back again with Enkigirl.

There's not much to Xilitla - it's a coffee-production center in the highlands of San Luis Potosi state that clings to the side of a mountain with a single road snaking through it. It has a great, old-fashioned bakery and coffee shop called Café Don Nico where you can buy a pound of roasted local coffee for about USD2.50.

We arrived for our visit to the Castillo after a ill-planned 7-hour death-drive out of the Sierra Gordas. Exhausted by hundred of kilometers of truck traffic and thousands of speed bumps, the fractally-looping looping concrete towers matched our dehydrated and hallucinatory states of mind. We chugged water and climbed the concrete and the surreal became all too real. The whole thing had a feeling of grand vision and even grander construction technique all lost to history and now being swallowed up by the jungle. The concrete was slowly being covered in mold and moss and ruin and it was shatteringly beautiful.

Hotel options in Xilitla were limited at best. We thereafter referred to the town as "Shit-la" (which is about as close as we could get to the authentic pronunciation anyways). Great coffee, though.
posted by Enkidude at 12:45 AM on September 19, 2018

Fan of art history docos here. Nice to see something a little different in that genre. :)
posted by Pouteria at 7:32 PM on September 19, 2018

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