by Melina Peña
Cámara: Yuriko Sasaoka
Music: ¨Las Mañanitas ¨ Antonia Aguilar
Alex´s Birthday is the culmination of weeks of work making piñatas in the form of the Macedonian Sun Symbol with its 8 rays.
Inspired by the history of this symbol, the current situation with the neighbouring country Greece and the re-invention of the city of Skopje. The sun served as my model for 1 big and 7 small piñatas, each one unique in their own way, expressing my sense of what the project Skopje 2014 generated on my body. Layers of layers trying to hide and remove people´s past and memories of their own city. An aggressive gesture that created resistance and rejection as I walked by but at the same time I became more intrigued in researching the factors to this outcome.
In many cultures, the Mexican piñata is most commonly considered a fun, slightly violent activity at children´s birthday parties. A hollow mache paper form is filled with candy and small toys and then playfully bashed by partygoers with a stick or baseball bat, until it spews forth the contents to cheers and mad scramble for treats.
In Alex´s Birthday, the piñata is destroyed as a symbol of purification and reinvention. As change brings new surprises, a positive outlook to what is to come in an uncertain present, where community, empathy and affection are greatly needed.