Berraco Santo Manto, with Vela Phelan, 9pm -12am, Grace Exhibition Space, Brooklyn, NY, April 19, 2014
Containment of/ contención de / spilling of / derrame de/ covering of / cubriendo el / darkness / power / corruption / ghosts / family / searching / love / spirit / death / trace / choice / money / sins / breath / trust / fear / love / black / white / red / Vela / Alice / Vela vs. Alice / Vela and Alice
Starting at about 12noon Vela and I begin to create the space. Our hope is to fully infiltrate Grace Space. We work on this until about 8pm. We both change cloths and people begin to arrive. I am wearing a red dress. I start in the space by the windows. I great people introduce myself and ask if they will write their name on a “Hello my name is” label. I then ask them to fill a small bottle with their breath. No one refuses me his or her breath. After they have filled their bottle I stick the nametag to the floor or space directly below them and place their bottled breath next to it. This continues for about an hour. I move to the red area. I take the bag from the side of the pedestal and put it around my neck. I cover the pedestal with red duct tape, covering up many of the objects. I sit on top of the pedestal. The bag is filled with syringes. The syringes are filled with different colored liquids. I take them all out and place them on my lap. I pick one up at a time and inject each into my arm and leaving it until it falls out. I go back and forth from my left arm to my right until there are no more syringes. Once complete I sit and watch Vela for a while. I get off the pedestal and walk over to the middle of the space. Vela lies on the floor and I try to cover his head with rocks, I do not complete this action. He sweeps all the rocks towards his head and covers his head himself. I spray some black paint on him. I stand up and move to the black area. I sit on the chair. I rub tiger balm over all of my exposed skin. I stand on the chair and put a black dress over my red dress and put a black bandana over my nose and mouth. I cover all the colorful flags in this area with black paper, stapling them on. I then pick up a glass jar filled with small guns and begin to shake them out of the bottle. This takes longer than expected but I do not stop. I continue until they are all on the floor. I enjoy the sound of the process. I feel a bit lost. I walk back over the chair and begin to untwine the ribbon and string and tie the one end of the string to the chair. I then start tying lengths of rubber cord together and then tie them on a string hanging from the ceiling stretched between two pulleys. It does not work. Vela starts to help, we tie more of them together I stretch them out the door and leave them connected to the stairs. I pick the rest of them up and drop them around Vela’s neck. They are lovely objects. I move back to the area by the window and sit beside a large pile of orange / red balloons. I pick one up and begin to breath into it, filling it up and then sucking my breath back in. I do this for a few minutes and then stand up and offer the audience members each a balloon, asking them to breath with me. They do.
Photos by Nabeela Vega