So George and I had this idea for an intervention in the São Paulo AIDS Walk, which happens on or around World AIDS Day, December 1 (yesterday). A group of us (somos) made a poetry, film and performance sarau, Somos (Mais) Sarau Transante was on Saturday evening, November 30 to get us in the mood for the intense day of AIDS Day … the acts, walks, talks, performances and such. It’s a lot for one day. It’s a lot to pay attention to all at once. That’s why I like so much the project by artist, Jessica Whitbread called Love Positive Women … it creates another set of days (Feb 1-14) during which positive women are commemorated, interacted with … thought of. This relates to the cloth hearts.
I was in Senegal a few times in the past years, and bought fabric for George. The first run, he made a series of scarves. The second run he made 100 cloth hearts with one fabric on front and the other on back. They have hard angles and lines like the ‘heart tile’ of the LUV Game. And the once used for ‘about’ on my homepage. The LUV Game would be played at the Sarau Transante and also the public park where the AIDS Walk ended. Parade (or bloco) walks like the one on AIDS Day are perfect situations for making a gesture. Sometimes corporates (pharmaceuticals) give away swag on these occasions and there are always drink sellers at such gatherings in São Paulo. The Senegalese cloth was laying around, and the contrasting patterns idea was already ‘had’. We didn’t really know if people from the Sarau would also attend the walk and the art performances at the walk’s end on the other side of Paulista from Baixo Augusta (beside Parque Augusta) where we began our journey.
We decided to make 100 hearts that look like the heart tile piece (same lines), a piece designed by Adham Bakry in Port Said (Egypt)…and seems to be tattooed on one of my right hand fingers. There were a lot of people who touched these cloth hearts. You can read more about the process on the Produções Pão com Ovo page. We gave away 60+ on the walk yesterday, and then some more that night at Arouchianos meeting at Largo do Arouche. We saved some back for friends during the holidays and inspiration.
The idea hit me so hard, it gave me a case of puppy luv. I mean I really really luv Marina Dias … she is the church. FULL STOP! It just so happened that she was spinning at DANDO party on Friday night before AIDS weekend. I told her beforehand on Insta that I’d bring her a heart. We were so late leaving the house: George was tired, and Wesley (pup) had to get his mask from a friend’s house and thusly arrived late too. We had good energy though and walked to Teatro Mars for the party. All dressed ‘down’. I opted for a kimono look, sultry, off the shoulder. George was wearing Vale’s new shorts creation, two layers of colored veil, and a shirt (I think). Wesley went as a dog. A very sexy puppy.
We were late. So once we cleared ticket check and basic flirting with the yellow-shirted DANDO staff, I ran upstairs to dance my way to the tables. She was there …I could see her, and pushed my way through the crowd, slipping off my ‘wife beater’ under the kimono. I had brought 10 of the hearts, or was it 11 in the end? George and Wesley were each wearing 3 or 4 around their necks. They soon met me at the front of the room. I had already handed the heart to Marina. She received it with a smile and put it over half her face as a mask in order to wink. Never missing a beat. I wanted to make sure not to interrupt her. I had already placed one on the neck of a beautiful ‘image’ at the base of the DJ stand, with a piece of black veil wrapping their whole head. I think they were there, and that I practiced giving a heart to them, laying it gently like a lei…
People started asking for them. Or looking for them. Where were they coming from. I decided organically who might best take care of the hearts, and have no regrets so far. There may have been one stamped into the condensation tracked floor of the dark room, but it was hard to tell in the dim light. And, there were many hearts already scattered about. Wesley missed the Sarau, I think our pup was all tuckered out.
Our venue for the Sarau fell through at the last minute and we want to say a big thanks for Ze + Sid who hosted us ‘on the fly’ at their new venue, Um55. Muito muitíssimo obrigado!!