Tunga's House Bar

Tunga’s House Bar: A Group of Kids Sitting Around Tlking About The End of The World (2004)

Written by: Los Super Elegantes

Luisa: Milena Muzquiz
Tiago: Martiniano Lopez-Crozet
Tunga: Paul Gellman
Cornelia: Jenna Curtis
Ernesto: Josh Birch
Jackie: Livia Corona
Tunga’s Mother: Ellen Taylor

Tunga wears white pants, white shoes with red paint spots and a tropical shirt. He sits in the center chair while everyone else is sitting around him and scattered around. There are bottles, glasses and ashtrays on the coffee table.

Narration (voice over): Tunga, the most important contemporary artist in Brazil, born on May 7th 1952, lives and works in Barrinha the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro. His studio is a modernist glass building hanging from a cliff looking out into the jungle. Let’s hear him speak…

Tunga’s voice over: The attempts to find the heterogeneous in the exotic have been many for a long time, Gaugin went to Tahiti and discovered a color field, Gaugin said, “soyez mysterieux, be mysterious.” You see, it’s crystallizing the idea of finding the exotic in mystery. As long as there is light, there is mystery. It brings to mind Novalis and San Juan de la Cruz, the whole tradition of this idea that ghosts are born in obscurity and living with those ghosts will reveal an unknown territory. Even in Freudian ideology the id is thought of as something obscure. Freud himself, in metapsychology, speaks of the id as a Saurius, an alligator, a Pterodactyl if you will... graaa, graaa, a prehistoric animal that never the less still lives among us.

Jackie plays the guitar and sings in French while Cornelia cries desperately. Luisa and Tiago sit next to each other and translate the lyrics of the song…

Luisa: She says she is heart broken.
Tiago: She is going to leave him. He doesn’t understand her.
Luisa: She will not come back.
Tiago: She wants to kill him.
Luisa: She must leave before it’s to late.
Tiago: She’s going to jump off a cliff.
Luisa: No, she should not jump off the cliff.
Jackie (singing): Je suis morte, je suis morte.
Luisa: She’s dead.
Tiago: What a sad song.

Cornelia immediately gets up and casually gets a whiskey and serves herself

Ernesto: What was it that Bataille said about the bones and the muscles? Was it that the bones followed the muscles or did the muscles follow the bones?
Cornelia: I actually prefer if the skin shapes the bone, I find that more interesting.
Tunga (speaking in French): Lu sou e sulvant a le muscle, Le grand architecture de La fille e garcon.
Tiago: That is to say, the bone enwraps the muscle it is the architecture of a girl and a boy.
Luisa (writing): When we went to Cologne, I was told that the cathedral was designed to imitate the human torso.
Cornelia: …but this is not possible, unless the arches are the rib cage.
Tiago: I love perversity, children are perverse, then the parents teach them that perversity is wrong and the traumas begin.
Tunga: we rrrreally must escape the decadence, it stands for decay.
Luisa: I see the decadence as excessive.
Tiago: No. Let’s use the sun as an example. The sun is excessive. It is a mass of energy and light, and the sun is definitely not decadent.
Jackie: Decadence is the trash heap of western civilization. Do you think decadence exists in the primitive tribes of the Congo?
Cornelia: We are not using the word correctly. I see decadence as a decline. America is decadent.

Parrot (from outside): You’re not using the word correctly.

Tunga: Decadence is the latest step and Deka-dance is the latest club. Let’s all listen to the Deka-dance song. It is actually my song.

Tunga’s song starts (this is the narration that goes with the song):

Tunga: Tungaism is about the invention of a language. It is not about the work, but making use of this language to discuss it. Tunga spaces are instruments of expression in unique moments of experience; I call my house, “quasi-tropical Tunga space.” I wanted to surpass the open with the supra-open. Let’s take a tour of Tunga space. The bathroom: notice that the floor is made of straw. I had Japanese workers design the flushing system. Each day I release my bowls into this pit of excrement. And now, let’s walk to the study. Notice the books on the wall: De Sade, Delueze, Leutremont, Julia Kristeva.

Chorus (singing): It’s Tunga’s House, Tu-Tu-Tunga’s House.

I’ve been walking down these corridors…

Tunga gets an idea, (blindfold scene)

Tunga: I have an Idea! Freedom. A big spectacle. The power of imagination.
Ernesto: What?
Tunga: Imagine. Imagine everything you can imagine
Jackie: Who will perform?
Tunga: Us.
Cornelia: What are you doing?
Tunga: I imagine. This is the spectacle

The sound of streetcars begins. Tunga puts a blindfold on and walks into the street. Everyone follows with blindfolds on.

Tunga (yelling): Imagine everyone, just imagine.

The sound of streetcars. They walk around, while people yell at them.

Tunga: Free the passions.
Everybody: Free the Passions!
Tunga: Free expression.
Everybody: Free expression!
Tunga: Forbid prohibitions.
Everybody: Forbid prohibitions!
Tunga: Smoke, glide, fly.
Everybody: Smoke, glide, fly!
Tunga: Open the prisons.
Everybody: Open the prisons!
Tunga: Under the cobblestones is a beach.
Everybody: Under the cobblestones is a beach!

Everyone takes off the blindfolds and starts walking back to the house. Tunga’s mother is there organizing.

Tunga’s Mother: Hi everyone. Welcome, come, come, let’s have some drinks it’s Tunga’s birthday.

A dinner table is set and everyone is sitting drinking and talking. Tunga’s mother places the chicken on the table. Tunga sees the chicken and throws it to the floor.

Tunga: Dinner is served!

Everyone starts clapping and laughing.

Tunga’s mother (yelling): Bravo, bravo! I’ve invited one of the most important dancers of our times.

A ballet dancer enters, and begins to dance to Tartini. Another song mixed in begins and Tunga’s Mother walks to a different light and begins to wash the dishes. Luisa and Tiago follow her.

Tunga’s Mother : Another birthday together with Tunga. All those kids… they are so creative so intellectual, but I see a fault. Something is falling between the cracks. Tunga keeps expanding, but he doesn’t realize that he is actually working against the ideas of the supra-open. And who am I? In 1967, I wrote a famous essay, “Concrete Feminism in Tropicalia.” I need to go back to that… keep writing, just keep writing.


Luisa and Tiago come into the room

Luisa: It so nice to see you again. Do you need any help?
Tunga’s Mother: Actually, can you grab those plates for me?
Tiago: You look a little upset, is something wrong?
Tunga’s Mother: Yes, there is something wrong, very wrong. I’ve been neglecting my career. Do you guys remember the essay I wrote in 67?
Luisa: Of course, it is mandatory reading in all the universities.
Tiago: Actually, they did a piece in the weekend supplement of the Rio de Janeiro Times about concrete feminism, there seems to be a revival.

Luisa: Have you written anything since then?

Tunga’s Mother: No, I am falling through the cracks. I haven’t written at all.

The sound of the police

Tiago: What is that?
Luisa: Is that really the police?
Tunga’s Mother: Yes, they have been cracking down the neighborhood, that’s why we created the Barhinna Neighborhood Watch Committee, but it doesn’t really help. The police keep coming. We don’t even know what they want.
Luisa: Do they have to be so aggressive?
Tiago: They have been asking Tunga to stop expanding the house, but he just can’t stop.
Tunga’s Mother: I’ve warned him about this. The building permits are very strict in this area.

A loud knock on the door is heard

Voice over: This is the police. Is anybody in there? We have been looking for you.

They are aggressive and throw the door down. There is a big fight. The sounds of the fight are in the background. Tunga throws the table, gun shots, etc. When the sounds of the fight fade out, everyone stays lying on the floor. As Tunga gets up, the final narration starts.

Final narration (voice over): What happened? Are they dead perhaps, or just about to die? Finally, the moment of truth. Or was life truthful all along? The beauty of art is mystery. What happened here? Where did Tunga go? Are you for Tunga or the Police? Is this bloodshed absolutely necessary?

Tunga’s narration: Well, I think that something went wrong. I was finding the heterogeneous in the bottom of the well. We are still living in the episteme, to use a foucaultian term. We were assimilated, gutted out, transformed into the utilitarian, like the toothbrush, shiiika shiiika, shiika. Jean Luc Goddard flies on the Concord to New York to shop, then returns home. We need to formulate and reformulate new strategies to find the lost subject that is the modern subject which has yet to find a home… MY HOME!

The last song begins. Tunga walks over to the glass door and begins to paint his signature on it passionately (in red paint). All the other people get up from the floor and start talking, laughing and walking away arm in arm (as if they are leaving a great party).

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