Updated: Oct 14, 2021
Transmogrify, Drama and Cooking in Collaborative Arts
A review of the cooking-performance "LaLove's Kitchen" Latin-Midweek Drama Recipes: Corta-Venas Episode, which took place at Sari-Sari Art Salon on February 12, 2020
Written by Lalo Gomes (Artist-Director)
Documented by Rita Couto
First, a pasapalo-for-thought. All recipes are transformative: they are shaped by their
changes, at every turn. Clashingly, both magic and the sciences bear this out. But, without being a “brujo” or a chemist, an average person can perform transformations through cooking recipes - the fundamental bedrock of how we cook and share food. Adding salt to water is the first miraculous transformation that can enter in consort with hundreds of other foods to form endless combinations of “sopa”.
Now, a thought-provoking canapé. It is granted that transformation is the essence of drama. In drama, things become another, they either grow or get destroyed. Taking in the same example of the “sopa”, a four-year-old girl can be playing with the same salt and water and envisaging it as a “sopa”, assuming to be her mother in the kitchen, and in the end, she will even play out the taste. Behind this conceptual aperitifs, is an evolving dramatic approach to cooking inspired by the transformation of recipes.
Lalove️’s Kitchen - a transdisciplinary collaboration between the Lalove️’s Kitchen Arts-Team and members of local, Latinoamerican and transnational networks - has produced a series of drama-recipes since 2019. Inspired by the Latinoamerican way of living and their communities, the organization does a nightlong of getting together by making a drama. Each event is a brand-new experience, involving food, drinks, live storytelling performances and concerts. The project is a resident curatorial practice of Sari-Sari-Salon, wherein +6 ep. are programmed for 2020.
It is like to imagine a family of libertines (visionaries) that got a license to open an intercommunity bar-restaurant in the middle of Babel Tower.
It is very complicated to imagine a night in this kitchen without the help of metaphorical language. It is like to imagine a family of libertines (visionaries) that got a license to open an intercommunity bar- restaurant in the middle of Babel Tower. This depiction is well-turned in as much as purely coincidental. To constellate the real with the reality, here is a visual-textual anthology of leftovers from the ep. 3, season 2 of the series.
Lalove️’s Kitchen starts at 19:00. Hypothetically. Because, “when” is pointless. What matters is "for whom”. For you, it's just starting now. So. Bienvenidxs, ¿tienes hambre?
It's always mighty busy here. Tonight: wholly-packed. There is a feeling of ongoing elasticity as people go in-and-out, back-and-front, up-and-down; from the kitchen to the bar, from the salon to the kitchen, and back to the kitchen from the bar. Every situation in this house has
a freewheeling resolution. This is certainly implied in the generous smile of Yaknel Elorza, a Venezuelan femme-total who co-hostess this performance. From the very first contact, she transforms the strangeness of every guest into an existing fusion of openness and flexibility. Thereupon they can drive themselves to themselves.
Tonight’s culinary-talent is Emilio Cordero Chueca, an Ecuadorian creative technician who turned out to have a knack for food. Mr Cordero is the epitome of the oft-heard motto from Latinoamerican people: “We know how to make things out of no-t-h-i-n-g”. Here, self-evidence: all the skin from the 8 Kg of potatoes that were peeled for the feast, he turned into a deep-fried snack. But Emilio's eagerly awaited main dish is a work-in-process still. Next up tonight: Lalove️’s spoken-key-words; then, a corta-venas concert.
What at first smells at like Latinos cooking exotic-food while making-a-drama and singing “vamos-a-la-playa”, in real reality, is a groundskeeping team self-organizing to create an inclusive shelter against the wake of a societal tragedy.
Lalove, the dramatis-mind/zookeeper-personae of this grab-bag, is actually Lalo Gomes turned Lalove️. Through the night, Lalo turns Lalove️ and Lalove️ turns Lalo, ad-infinitum. When he’s who, he doesn't even know himself. By his intense way of doing even most mundane (yet significant) actions, nor is it known if he is deliberately byplaying for dramatic effects, or is that he is really struggling washing dishes. It looks a little comical, but this stuff is all seriousness. While food and music eventually vanish; the signature of Lalove️’s drama endures.
The half-man-half-character’s rhetoric is his body very natural: exhilarating, entertaining, menacing - all qualities which, in turn, are essential to greatest dramas. For Lalove️, drama - determined by the power of affective-physical expressions, is both: a cuisine-guerrilla tactic and a philosophical embodiment.
And, here comes: the “Yaguarlocro” bloo...dy soup - tonight’s turning main-point-dish. Uh-huh... the Yaguarlocro's sopa/miracle dramatically remedies for the tour-de-force through Berlin in finding the total ingredients called for this Ecuadorian big idea. Only if you think of googling the recipe, you will be mad about what the guests experienced through their mouth at this feast. A combination of blood, sweat, and tears, created the signature of tonight's dish, that of course paired with the dramatic turn of Latino heart-bounded Sazón, without the addition of merely managerial or commercial.
What at first smells at like Latinos cooking exotic-food while making-a-drama and singing “vamos-a-la-playa”, in real reality, is a groundskeeping team giving money, time, space, effort, and self-organizing to create an inclusive shelter against the wake of a societal tragedy slowly turning into a cultural disaster. And probably, our last turn to counter-attack political-inertia, racism and xenophobia. That’s all. Simple. So. Ahora, buen provecho.