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Asprins and Vultures

Ramon Martinez Mendoza and Jarrah Strunin

1000£BEND: In a conjunction of styles, El Tarro presented an innovative show featuring film, performance, food and music from across South America.
Asprins and Vultures
On June 17, the warehouse-bar 1000 £ Bend, located in the heart of Melbourne, hosted a presentation in which, in just one night, all possible forms of art came together. The initiative, created by the organisation El Tarro – founded by musician and educator Jorge Leiva, and musician and visual artist Claudia Escobar – looks to open spaces to new forms of contemporary expression.

The night began with the smooth caresses of Kali Rose; a woman suddenly appeared in the middle of the room and began combing audience members’ hair with the same sweetness that a mother would her daughter’s, in the same way that the daughter will one day comb her mother’s hair when she gets older.

Then Claudia Escobar appeared from the shadows with her performance, One Day I Will Be Dangerous. Carrying a lamp, Escobar proclaimed how important it is to cut one’s nails in a room that smells of war and oblivion. A mask of Mars began to talk while nobody listened. The lingering feeling was a clear sense that the world is ruled by men and women who are disconnected from what people really need.

Then Cynthia Granados took the stage with her work Colour Melos and invited the viewers to become part of the piece. So, dressed in white and surrounded by colourful paintings, she called for the hands of others to paint on her. A few stood up and dared to put beautiful spots on her dermis.

Next, the attendees were invited to leave the upstairs space and move to the lower floor to view the paintings of Venezuelan artist Victor Holder. Holder has been experimenting with wave theory for more than ten years, an influence which can be seen in the thick brushstrokes on each of his canvases.

In the middle of it all, the work of Anthony Kraus, a profound painting that speaks deeply about the concept of transforming hell into heaven; wood – thrown away on the streets – becomes oil, residues form new spaces, and together these elements create a new planet, a new globe. As if by magic, a naughty hand, as mischievous as Kraus’s eyes and smile, fills the frame with small figures, reminiscent of being a child and drawing on freshly painted white walls.

And next to these works, the experimental painting of Julian Clavijo, who transforms images of human beings into pixels, getting so close that you see only colours.

Later, we returned to the upstairs space to watch Cinema, Aspirins and Vultures (2006), a film by Brazilian director Marcelo Gomes that speaks about the compassion and peace present in each human being.

And top it all off, then came the music with Manu ‘da’ Banda and his Afro-Latino rhythms, Nahuatl Sound System, Discotecadeliador with the sounds of northern Brazil, and Guido Banbaataa with ‘Favela Pimp’. Between each of the acts, Kathleen Gonzalez performed a dance focused on the reinterpretation of the indigenous peoples of Latin America and the rituals and customs that they practice; and Jamie Lewis, from Singapore, shared his thoughts on how the world engages with indigenous communities.

Finally, it is necessary to add that these enterprising artists made the evening the best place to get in touch with the real root of art, which is to change our worlds, if only for a few minutes.

Asprins and Vultures: The Blurred Side of South America Part Two
Presented by El Tarro and Samba Cine Club
Visual art exhibition by Victor Holder
Performances by Jaime Lewis, Kali Rose, Claudia Escobar, Cynthia Granados & Kathleen Gonzalez
Film: Cinema, Aspirins and Vultures by Marcelo Gomes (2006)
Live Music & DJ: Manu ‘da’ Banda, Nahuatl Sound System and Discotecadéliador

1000£Bend, Melbourne
Friday June 10

www.smallestperformingspace.blogspot.com

What the stars mean?
  • Five stars: Exceptional, unforgettable, a must see
  • Four and a half stars: Excellent, definitely worth seeing
  • Four stars: Accomplished and engrossing but not the best of its kind
  • Three and a half stars: Good, clever, well made, but not brilliant
  • Three stars: Solid, enjoyable, but unremarkable or flawed
  • Two and half stars: Neither good nor bad, just adequate
  • Two stars: Not without its moments, but ultimately unsuccessful
  • One star: Awful, to be avoided
  • Zero stars: Genuinely dreadful, bad on every level

About the author

Ramon Martinez Mendoza and Jarrah Strunin are reviewers for ArtsHub.

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