What do you do when you are strolling along near Retiro Station, enjoying a sunny Saturday afternoon without a care in the world, and you suddenly feel a thick wet substance fall on your head from the tree above? The natural inclination is to stop, run your fingers through your hair and think YUK, BIRD POOP! But it’s not bird poop, friends, it’s the BIRD POOP SCAM!
We’ve heard Porteños referred to as “security conscious” and it is true… from the moment we arrived, friends, hosts and even strangers on the street grimly warned about keeping our wits about us in the midst of the pickpockets, muggers, pedestrian-hating drivers, cellphone thieves, shiv-carrying nogoodniks and mustard-squirting maniacs that apparently rove the city in droves. So far so good…until today! Did you know that the “con” in con artist is short for “confidence”? When a passing woman kindly points out the goo is also all over your backpack and clothing, and offers you some tissues and cleaning assistance, the brain thinks How sweet! The brain does not think How big is the bird that defecated this torrent of dark grey waste? Weird that this it smells like vinegar mixed with tuna and motor oil. How did it get on the bottom of my backpack? Why is this lady so dang determined for me to lay my backpack down right here in the middle the sidewalk? Why are there three guys hovering in a car over there? Luckily, this is one of those rare moments when my Hard-Hearted Hannah spidey-sense wins out over Paolo’s Sunshine Kid nature (plus he’s too busy dry-heaving from the faux poo smell), and I drag him off to the sanctuary of the Kirchner Cultural Center where (after cleaning up in the big nice bathrooms), we cool out in arty beach chairs under a glowing purple ceiling and look at some terrific photos by Rinko Kuwauchi, Patti Smith and Seydou Keïta.
Confidence restored, it’s off to former plastics factory turned art lab Espacio Nixso in our favorite barrio Barracas for a fun screening and discussion about community filmmaking with the inspiring professors and students of the UNTREF Maestría en Artes Electrónicas program. From bird poop to Old Crow, anything can happen on a Saturday in BA!
Thank you Canada Council for the Arts and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts for the generous fiscal support in making this presentation possible!