Pajaras

Experiment on social behavior and human connection. Bringing surrealism to the streets of Chicago.

Client:

Personal project

Title:

Creative Director, Performer

Tired of the bland and surreal conversations on social media and dating site platforms, artist Alba Soto and I decided to bring the jester to the public and find out what happens when you intentionally provide a space to be surreal in the form of a dinner in the middle of the streets.

Inspired by the Mad Hatter scene in Alice in Wonderland and the mating rituals of the birds of paradise, we decided to invite anyone who was interested to take a break and share a surreal moment with us.  There were moments of dance, gibberish, song, and silence.  We could only reference different bird rituals. Two giant bird masks I built were the climax of the performance, but we did not know when they were going to come out. Our drive was pure connection, intuition, and listening. Passersby were encouraged to take part in all of it. Who says no to free lemonade, chicken, and cake?

Providing gifts for people is one of my favorite pleasures in life. Showing people that life is full of joy and if you look at life with an outlook of possibility and enchantment, you might find those pockets in the circus of life. As artists, we felt the need to bring people together and just play. We wanted to give people a license to be in the present moment. We did two versions of the performance in Chicago, in the neighborhoods of Lakeview and Chinatown. We asked nothing of the audience, just to join us.

And they did! By the end of the two hours of the durational performance, people were eating cake with their hands, singing happy birthday with us and taking lots of pictures with our scenery. Overall it was a really good time.

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  • There needs to be more joy in the streets and more opportunities to play, adults and children alike.

  • People love engaging and playing. Be responsible for the experience you are providing. Don't let things get too carried away that the whole performance becomes the final scene of the novel The Perfume by Patrick Süskind.

Key Takeaways