portfolio > El mayoral en el paraiso / The overseer in paradise

2017
2013
2013
2013
2013

performed at “La cena de la luna fría” (a fluxus dinner party) hosted by ISLANDS at AS220 in Providence, RI

The performance began with a contextual setup using a clip from the Cuban film La Ultima Cena, in which a colonial-era slave master, with Christian delusions of grandeur, "allows" his slaves to join him for dinner one evening. What begins as a self-aggrandizing gesture aimed at getting the slaves to accept and even take pleasure in their "god-given", subjugated roles, ends with an allegorical tale delivered by one of the black slaves about the nature of oppression often appearing in the guise of truth.

In a parallel gesture, I draw upon the historic relationship between Caribbean colonization and the exportation of tropical agriculture, specifically the pineapple, as the ultimate symbol of power and decadence amongst the British elite, to talk about this notion of "the mask of truth".

Throughout this fluxus dinner party, I am carving and unhappily chewing a pineapple exported from Costa Rica, a land beleaguered by the harmful ecological, economic, and physical side effects of being a tropical fruit factory for North American corporations. I create a mask for myself with the pineapple, "the mask of truth". I stand on a chair and ask the guests seated next to me to hold my hands while I recite a few lines from Joy Division's Colony--Anabel Vázquez accompanies me on the güiro.

"Dear God in his wisdom took you by the hand,
God in his wisdom made you understand.
God in his wisdom took you by the hand,
God in his wisdom made you understand.
In this colony, in this colony, in this colony, in this colony."