In "...se parece a la felicidad," renowned Cuban artist Manuel Mendive orchestrates a massive performance event, combining visual arts, music, dance, performance art, Afro-Cuban elements and 200 hundred bodies painted to represent the sky, the sea, and the land. In this performance, brightly-colored bodies streak through the streets of Havana, shouting and gesturing wildly, dancing in sync, carrying ducks. Aaron Vega's video documents this exuberant public body art performance, including scenes of Mendive's unique method of preparing the performers: painting some with bright animals and abstract shapes, and covering others entirely in one color.
"Amarillo, azul y blanco," a video by Ramón García, documents a traveling, public performance art event created by renowned Cuban artist Manuel Mendive. Brightly-painted dancing bodies journey through Lenin Park (Havana), San Juan river (Matanzas) and Oasis Hotel (Varadero) in a performance of embodied syncretism, a dance of colors --"yellow, blue and white," the title of the piece-- echoing both the basic language of visual artists and the distinctive colors of Santería deities --the colors of Ochún, Yemayá and Changó. Mendive blends significant elements of Afro-Cuban culture, creating a personal universe intimately linked to his particular worldview, one that establishes organic connections between nature and religion, African ancestry and Caribbean everyday life, a symphony of syncretism that, like all of Mendive's art, reflects a life of commitment to African spiritual practices, a commitment that became more intense after his first visits to Africa in the early 1980s.
Video documentation of Manuel Mendive's "Para el ojo que mira," an interdisciplinary performance held at the opening of Mendive's eponymous art exhibit at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana in August of 1987. An ambitious, syncretic, critically acclaimed show that included mixed media paintings, sculptures, masks, and performance, "Para el ojo que mira" opened with an exuberant public body art performance created by Mendive, with the participation of musicians and dancers from the Conjunto Folklórico Nacional and the Danza Nacional de Cuba, along with the guest appearance of Lázaro Ross, one of the most important contemporary interpreters of Yoruba music in this Caribbean island. This video documentation was directed by Lourdes Prieto.