Monday, September 11, 2006

Sari is the Hardest World

Leandro Soto is back from India and, this just in: He's discovered America. The performance-slash-installation artist's new collaborative event at ASU West's IAP Art Gallery illustrates the irony of the mythological construct of Columbus discovering the New World by accident. The collaborative world art jam does this by rescuscitating Marshall McLuhan's maxim, "the medium is the message," by choosing silk cloth saris chiefly worn by women in India and Pakistan to display Cuban-American, Mayan and, therefore, "Indian" mythological narratives.
The exhibit also includes found art codices by cross-polinating writers and painters from India, Mexcio, and, in Soto's case, Cuba. Only one drama remains for the interdisciplinary, em, multi-media, art show opening with a reception Sept. 26: How will the show's curator, Soto, get the damn thing to fit within the available space inside the venue? As the name of the 2D visual art exhibition implies, "Shared Vision: India, Mexico & Cuba" cuts a broad swathe, culturally speaking. But if you do the math, you can see Soto's problem.
"The gallery is 30 by 30 feet, and I'm not sure how this is going to fit, because some of these saris are 24 feet long," Soto tells New Times as the show's curator and its collaborative creative stretches one of seven brightly colored silk sari's, painted with Indian ink, across the floor.
Gee ... these melting pot experiments are really all about territory, aren't they?
"It's a real integration, a mixing of people and cultures," Soto says.

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