The Knots in the Gag / Reinaldo Escobar

Havana, January 8, 1959.  The dove had already defecated on his shoulder; the other bearded one had already answered the question, “How am I doing, Camilo?”; Habaneros had already started to worry about such a long speech warning them that things would be more difficult from now on.  So comandante Dermidio Escalona ordered the unruly capital crowd to shut up.

No one could calculate, then, the significance of that gesture, no one could suspect that half a century later the performance artist Tania Bruguera would recreate the scene in her production “Tatlin’s Whisper,” in which we had one free minute before the microphone, dove included.

I leave you the image here, and this link conjured by technology and nostalgia, so that we can assess what could have been and was not, and calculate what could be if we were less obedient to the order to shut up.

January 10, 2010