After more than twenty-five years in the US, I returned to South America. I visited my birthplace in Argentina, stayed in the house where I lived with my grandparents in Bolivia and discovered places where my parents took refuge during the dictatorial regimes that afflicted the continent. The performance was inspired by this trip.
“SUR” had five consecutive actions:
Genesis: People enter a dark space, a projection of the sky plays in the background while I lay naked, curled in a fetal position, and covered by a large plastic sheet. At the sound of cymbals, I begin to move breaking the artificial womb. I stand up, take a bag of Yerba Mate (green tea), and start to pour it on my body. The crushed leaves stick to my oiled skin. I invite people to take handfuls of Yerba Mate, and to pour it on me. Music ends.
Fatherland: sitting down, I put a white boxer, and draw a fake mustache and side burns on my face with shoe polish. When voices of military dictators are heard, I put a black sac over my head, stand up, and begin to march. I pull a chair, and I invite the public to strap me to it with ribbons the color of the Argentine flag. When they finish, I start cutting the ribbons with a razor blade. A sad tango melody starts to play. I begin to dance flirting with a big red cone that I put over my nose. I finish my dance shaking the green tea powder off my body, and crushing the huge red nose on my face.
Heartland: I put a heavy wool sweater, an Andean hat, and grab a bag of sugar. An old Bolivian ballad plays in the background. Going in circles, I say the lyrics of the song pressing the bag against my belly and pouring sugar around me. When finished, I tear the sweater into pieces. I invite the audience to do the same until the garment is completely destroyed.
Tropica: I change into a white Amazonian robe, sit down facing a video projection of a bright morning sun, and tie small pieces of sugar cane to my waist with ribbons the color of the Bolivian flag. I stand up, walk to the audience, and chew with them the sticks of sugar cane until I can no longer take a bite.
Carnation: The last action, I wear a red overall, make a crown with red flowers that I put on my head, take out seven white handkerchiefs that I mark with red paint using the metal cross as a stamp. I place the stamped pieces in a semicircle in front of me. I stand up finishing the performance.