2 – The Gift of the Gab

The Gift of the Gab.

Arduino. Rapsberry Pi. Pez dispensers. Birdcage. Wood. Keyboard. Speakers.

210cm x 150cm

The Gift of the Gab is inspired in the Capricho #53. In it, Goya depicts a charlatan talking to a credulous crowd. An ignorant audience who is listening to an amusing imposter while a mysterious man sitting behind the parrot smiles in the shadows.

There are 3 different collections of texts describing the meanings of Los Caprichos. The text of el Museo del Prado – the only officially approved by Goya says: “This looks like an academic board. ¿Who knows if the parrot is talking about Medicine, but you must not listen to a word. There are doctors that when they talk they have the gift of the gab, but when they prescribe they are like Herodes: they discuss the injuries without healing them, they amaze the sick and fill the cemeteries of skulls.”

But it is believed that the other texts found, might be more authentic, and less self-censored, like the text of the Manuscripts of Ayala: “Plagiarist speakers with fool audiences”.

Also, the text of Biblioteca Nacional (National Library) states: “The friars are regularly plagiarist preachers; but as they praise one another, the foolish audience is open-mouthed.”

The Gift of the Gab shows a theatrical hemicycle where parrot-shaped PEZ candies dispensers yell nonsense sounds when the right keys are triggered.  In this piece, the audience engages with a golden cage full of absurdity. This is no more than an invitation to play and be amused by the charlatans, but without the crowd’s participation, the impostors remain silent. Mute.

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