If You Don’t like the Picture, Blame the Ass

Tijuana Donkey Show
Tijuana Donkey Show

For over a century, millions of Americans have put on sombreros and posed for tourist photographs on top of donkeys in the border city of Tijuana, Mexico. For almost as long, one of the greatest urban legends in all of California history has been the Tijuana donkey show, the much-rumored, often-referenced, but never proven south of the border sex show that is perpetually re-invented in American high school locker rooms. The Donkey Show explores the border’s intersection of myth and reality through a blend of over 200 rare tourist photographs, vintage nightlife ephemera, and pop songs born of American myths of Tijuana. The exhibition is guest curated by cultural anthropologist and graphic design historian Jim Heimann and author and music critic Josh Kun.  On view at the Santa Monica Museum of Art until April 16th, 2011. www.smmoa.org