Carlos Aires. Sweet Dreams are made of this @ The Chapel: Aeroplastics @ WASHINGTON186 / The Chapel

17 - 30 April 2018

Carlos Aires: Sweet Dreams are made of this

Aeroplastics @ WASHINGTON186 / The Chapel
17 - 21 April 2018

The video "Sweet Dreams are made of this" shows two policemen wearing anti-riotuniforms, dancing a tango version of the famous 80 ́s song written and performed by theBritish music duo Eurhythmics. The fantastic lyric of the song is the central motor of thepiece. Opera or classical music is part of the high culture, meanwhile pop music is stillconsidered popular music or low culture. I completely disagree with it. A lot of the lyrics ofpop songs are contemporary poetry and are part of both social imaginary and oursentimental discographies. The cover of the song "Sweet Dreams are made of this" hasbeen arranged by the bandoneon player Fernando Girdini and recorded exclusively for thevideo, performed by the broken voice of Sara Van.In its origins, at the end of 19th century, tango was mainly a dance between two men. Theydanced in harbour brothels, while drinking and waiting for their turn. Tango was the resultof the cultural mix of locals with African, Italian and Hispanic immigrants. Dances from thecandombe ceremonies (Uruguayan music and dance that comes from African slaves) offormer slave people helped shape the modern Tango. It was originally forbidden by thechurch and rejected by high society, which resulted in its development in poor suburbs andworking-class slums.Spain was recently on the international news due to the violent riots, protests anddemonstrations that happened as a consequence of the extreme financial crisis, corruptionand bad government policies. Many videos showing police brutality can be found online. Inthem, the officers cannot be identified because their faces are hidden behind the helmetsand their ID numbers are not visible. All this lead into the 15M movement. After theresulting numerous protests, the Government published an antidemocratic law: it was andstill is illegal to take photos, videos or any form of visual record of police forces or policeuniforms without the Government's permission. I could find original anti-riot Spanish policeuniforms through friends that worked in the cinema industry, since I could not even rentthem without the Spanish Government's permission. I am aware of the fact that I could havenever gotten permission to make this piece. The video was recorded in the ballroom andcelebration space of the Museo Cerralbo, in Madrid. This museum is one of the fewexamples in Madrid of a 19th century mansion, which preserves its original décor. It was theresidence of the 17th Marquis of Cerralbo and his family, part of the Spanish aristocracy.The Ballroom is decorated with panels of agate from Granada, marble from the Pyrenees,oil paintings on the ceiling and large Venetian mirrors which infinitely multiply light andreflections. All this creates a particular atmosphere of splendor and brilliance in a placedesigned for enjoyment, in which everything is designed with the idea of dance in mind.This concept of a "temple of dance" is reinforced with the inclusion of Roman-style bustsplaced among the seating: divans and cane-bottomed chairs upholstered in silk from Lyon.All these ingredients, as well as other elements that are not so logical or possible to berationally explained, are part of the "Sweet dreams are made of this" cocktail. I recommenddrinking it before dancing. They shoot horses, don't they?
- Carlos Aires