Ana Fernandez interpreted Jason Kunke’s piece:
“Political Speech for a Hydra”, which was translated into Spanish and titled “Discurso politico para un Pulpo.” The piece was perfomed on Thursday, Oct. 9, 11am in front of the government´s palace in Plaza de la Independencia, Quito, Ecuador.
Performance directions for Table; A public action.
Table is the name given in English to a series of actions done by Miranda Texidor in Ecuador in 2006 under the name of La Mesa. Guests from all walks of life were invited to attend four different gatherings around a Table with cheese, wine, bread and other goodies, to discuss politics (and other subjects too) around the upcoming Ecuadorian presidential elections. Now that the US will be holding its own elections for president, it is believed auspicious to hold a new set of gatherings around a different table (and different goodies of course!). This table shares in the concept of gathering and conversation as a work of art in itself, and does not have expectations of any other nature. It is a place where people can share their thoughts, frustrations (if any) and doubts about what’s on hold for them in November 2008. The host gaily dressed in full gear costume (any is great) will conduct conversation and show his/her guests a good time. Obama and McCain’s styles, debates, their concerns on one party or the other are all interesting subjects. If conversation drifts to other subjects, the host graciously will redirect it to the main theme, but not forcefully, it is important to bear in mind that the Table is a process work that flows with the intentions of the guests. The Table can take from one hour to three depending on the stamina and interest the host and guest get sparkling. The host is encouraged to introduce any type of outrageous question or proposal within the conversation. It is recommended that the Table gets set up in four different locations and times so to have a diverse population as guests. If that is not possible, at least two different gatherings should be arranged. The Table can be set up in any space, the more public the better, plaza, street, mall, gallery or museum are all good.
1 Good goofy costume for performer host (in the style of Miranda Texidor, Uncle Sam, Fidel, Hugo Chavez or your choice)
2 10 guests from all walks of life (homemaker, politician, architect, artist, arborist, taxi cab driver, you name it)
3 One table where you can host your 10 guests, with accoutrements (table cloth, plates, cups, etc)
4 10 chairs for guests
5 Goodies to share. Guests are strongly encouraged to bring their own goodies to share, these may include chips, cheese, bread, wine, beer, juice, water, grapes, strawberries, potatoes with cheese sauce, assorted vegetables, etc.
(Note: goodies are extremely important for the well being of guests and host, and for sharing, this is an ingredient that can’t be done without).
6 Lots and lots of Wit and good humor.
Make necessary arrangements for your guests to be advised on time about the date, time and place of performance (maybe 6:30pm or so is a good time after work). Various reminder calls or RSVP could serve since guests tend to forget. The table can be of any kind as long as it hosts 10 guests. Always remember there is a lot of chance involved in this work and you need to let it flow where it takes you, it doesn’t matter if it diverts from the first Table (Miranda Texidor’s Mesa). Take care to choose a great costume you feel most comfortable in. A good bath or a cup of wine are advised before you meet your guests so you are most relaxed and enjoyable. Be prepared with everything ahead of time. If you have a cameraperson documenting, make sure she/he are placed in a spot that is not going to interfere with conversation. Remember that you can conduct the Table in any manner you like, and that your wit and good humor is what will make it happen! Make sure everyone has something to drink and eat and they feel comfortable. If someone does not feel like talking just let him or her relax a bit until they feel ready. The table should be like a home gathering with friends more than a political meeting. Casual engaged conversation and good time are what people enjoy most.
After a god one hour or two, your guests might want to start leaving, thank everyone, closing the gathering casually, remind them to stay in touch and email you with comments, gently and humorously accompany them to leave. Think a bit about how it went, write down your feelings and thoughts about it.
Ana Fernandez/Miranda Texidor
Ana Fernandez was born in 1963 and raised in Quito, Ecuador. She graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute with a BFA in Painting and received her MFA in Painting and Drawing from California College of the Arts. She explores the intersection between the real and the fantastic through drawing, painting, writing and random street performances. She is a recipient of the Pollock-Krassner Foundation Award, and was an Artist in Residence at Women’s Studio Workshop, Rosendale, New York. She received a grant to develop and Art Program in Yunguilla Ecuador through Center for Art and Public life. Ana currently develops a program to bring Contemporary Ecuadorian Art to rural communities through a grant from the Ecuadorian government Cultural Department. Her work has been shown throughout Latin America, Spain, Italy, and the US and is in various collections. Ana currently divides her time between Quito and San Francisco, CA. For more information, please visit http://mirandatexidor.com.