ALVARO MERINO DE MENDOZA
In this first performance, I focus on many of the cases of homophobia that began to be documented publicly and fearlessly in the newspapers. It was one of the first times that this kind of injustice was made public.
Aesthetically I have been influenced by traditional Spanish culture. I have recreated a classic flamenco dress adapted to my style. The dress also has influences from great Spanish fashion artists as can be seen in the volumes, structures and characteristics of Balenciaga or the neutrality of colours of the Loewe house.
Another of the reasons that led me to make this performance are all the public and hidden cases that many people live through bulling, social networks, etc. nowadays.
The performance is about two dresses.
The first one is short. In this one I wanted to show the different volumes in the sleeves and the lower part. It is accompanied by a train that is added to the short dress creating a long and voluminous one.
For this second performance, I wanted to recreate a Hair salon typical of the 80's in Spain.
Aesthetically my influences have been the women of the Spanish upper classes, who were the few who could afford it. In the old days going to a salon was considered an experience because of all the facilities that were included inside.
With respect to the gay culture within the project, I wanted to represent the figure of homosexual people at the time. One of the ways to represent homophobia in the country in those days was through rejection, i.e. made-up, feminine men were often rejected from law firms, policemen, firemen, and other professions ... simply because of their physical appearance, regardless of other abilities.
Through the performance I wanted to show the rich and empowered woman and the woman who reveals herself from traditional tasks such as washing or sweeping.
On the other hand, the role of women in the Tibian era began to change, although today there is still a long way to go. Women's work was beginning to take off in the country, with more important positions in the workplace, equal opportunities in schools and universities...
For this last performance, I wanted to interpret my own experience as a gay man. Throughout the project I have expressed the evolution of the gay community and the advancement of women's rights, but the truth is that these notorious changes have mostly taken place only in the cities.
I am from Madrid, and I have lived all my life surrounded by a Christian and traditional society but full of respect. In summer I usually go for two months to my village in the north, Asturias. There, over the years I have been able to compare certain attitudes and thoughts of the people of the area with the people of the city. Generally there is much more information in the city.
I don't want to generalize, that's why I stress that I speak from my experience, as there are homophobic people in the cities and very liberal people in the villages.
Regarding the performance, I have made a skirt made of organic, natural and reusable materials. I was inspired by artists such as Oscar de la renta or Iris Van Herpen. Colour and nature have been two key points of this last project, also inspired by the strong saturated colours of Madrid in the 90s.