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Mondongo: Dark Moods And Fairy Tales In Performance Installation

Kriss Perras, Publisher & Editor Malibu Arts Journal

By Kriss Perras

Mondongo is back, and so are their dark themes and punk influences. Mondongo consists of Juliana Lafitte and Manuel Mendanha. Step back in time about a decade and read part of the Mondongo Manifesto.

“In Spanish, the word Mondongo means tripe, or the lining of a cow’s stomach. The word Mondongo is also a stew we love, and we are like three witches stirring it up in a cauldron: revolving and expecting and trying and experimenting; attempting to alchemize, to distill, and ooze all the chaos, and the all possible ‘all-ness’ in it,” said the collective in 2008. 

Witness now the return of Modongo from the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time LA-LA series. They are back in Los Angeles for the performance and installation of Automata in Chinatown on January 20-21, 2018. Mondongo will present on January 22 an artists talk at CalArts as a presentation of the CalArts Center for New Performance. These will be followed by an exhibition of new works at Track 16 Gallery on February 10.

These new works explore the darker side of fairy tales and the subconscious. Mondongo created a geometrically shaped Pinocchio mask made of mirrors, works featuring Little Red Riding Hood with the Big Bad Wolf lurking behind and others using their trademark use of plasticine. When these are viewed from afar they seem blended together in a virtuousos display of perfection. When viewed up close, they’re seen as thousands of bits of plasticine layered by the artists’ hands.

Going to a Mondongo exhibition is the transformation of experiencing the artists’ pain. Lafitte experienced tragedy as a child through witnessing several exorcisms and unbelievable things she could never forget. These dark spectacles inform her art. The process of the performance and installation and later exhibition is a ceremony, one of shamanism and healing. 

“She explains the art is “understood as a ceremony, where information is transformed into an unknown energy capable of making people connect with their pain, even if they don’t realize it.”

“Information is transformed into an unknown energy capable of making people connect with their pain, even if they don’t realize it.”


Installation/Performance at Automata, 504 Chung King Court in Chinatown

Saturday, January 20th, 2018 from 7-10pm

Sunday, January 21st, 2018 from 6-8pm


Artist Talk

The CalArts Center for New Performance will present an Artist Talk with Mondongo at noon on January 22, 2018, at the CalArts campus in Valencia. This event is free and open to the public.


Exhibition at Track 16 Gallery, 1206 Maple Ave, #1005

Reception on Saturday, February 10th from 7-10 pm

February 10th to March 31st, 2018



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