taxi libre / 2005
Mehr Licht! / La Habana, cuba / 2005 / 2 x 3 hours
I am dressed like a cuban worker in a green suit, black boots and with a typical straw hat; a chair is attached on my back; on both sides of the chair and on the straw hat signs are placed that inform about my action: "TAXI libre, Peso No más de 50 kg, Distancia No más de 200 m" (free TAXI, Weight not more than 50kg, Distance not more than 200 m); I go through the streets of La Habana – San Augustin and offer my way of transportation; during two days I carry more than 22 children on my back through the streets, back to home or to friends around the corner
"… BBB Johannes Deimling from Germany carried out activities aimed at undermining the power relationships established subtly but unavoidably by society. In one of these, he used paint to trace the outline on the ground of each of his footsteps towards the various different events taking place, perhaps as a metaphor for how difficult it is for the public to access an aesthetic proposal and how arduous it is to conceive of these. In a second activity he impersonated “Taino”, a popular character in the neighbourhood who offers his own body as a means of transportation. Johannes offered the same service to the inhabitants, taking on the role of human taxi.
In his performances, physical exhaustion was present as a social exorcism. Johannes consciously rejected the role of European tourist arriving in a Caribbean country to enjoy all of its comforts. He used metamorphosis in order to transform himself for a while from the served to the servant. Using similar clothing, prepared for such an exhaustive job under the hot Cuban sun, he set in motion a change of roles that speaks of each one of our positions in society and criticises the true price of our pleasures, which frequently end up causing the physical and moral pain of others. …"
taken from: “Between Light and Distance”, by YAMEL PEREZ TOSCO. published in “Cuban Arte” 2005
video: lianet jardines díaz
Photos: Lianet Jardines and Aurelia Sampeur