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ExA 2019 in Review: Gustavo Solar

GUSTAVO SOLAR I will be millions

February 22, 2019

In his work, “I will be millions,” Gustavo Solar demonstrated that the body is a force more powerful than a choreography of re-imagined torture.

In the middle of a vacant street wet and muddy from an on-going mist of rain, Solar began his performance floodlit by the headlights of a revving truck engine. Undulating his body before the audience, he seemed a mixture of animal, the sacred, and a butoh interpreter. Through pure movement, he emitted a power akin to an animal, without words, without filters, and vulnerable to all aggression. A dense mud began to cover his body and that mud seemed to crack and corrode the audience, as he inched slowly away from the truck’s illumination.

In opposition to the movement of his body, Solar’s face was impassive and his focus seemed absent while the audience pointedly watch the series of events that were to unfold.

Solar’s body moved to the inside of a circular configuration of the four motorcycles that awaited him further down the street. Smoke and fumes exited the exhaust pipes of the bikes and the humming of the engines joined the melody of the truck’s engine as Solar positioned his body at its center.

Relegating his body to that of a simple piece of meat, Solar’s limbs were tied with ropes. The resulting human “X” of flesh and bones resulted in a re-imagined image of medieval torture by dismemberment. Each of his bound limbs was linked to one of the four bikes and his resistant body was predisposed to submit to the force of the machine. The bikes pulled at the strings of Solar’s body but without raising his body from the ground, though the audience felt the extreme tension as the bikes threatened to pull him apart if they were to accidentally lurch forward.

The audience was left with a nearly intolerable response to the vulnerable body ready and willing to be sacrificed in a public act of acquiescence.

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