Porno for Pyros

Not many artists feel at ease mixing medieval rituals with cutting-edge concepts. But George Sanchez-Calderon, known for his public works critiquing shoddy urbanism, believes that splashing gasoline on a theoretical bonfire is the best way to stoke a heated debate.

This Friday at 7 p.m., Sanchez-Calderon will present his solo show "In God We Trust," at Westchester's Farside Gallery, a predominantly Cuban enclave notorious for its code enforcement scofflaws. He'll ignite a Spanish falla, a blaze outlined in the shape of a swimming pool, in the yard behind the gallery, which is actually a 1959 tract home. The tradition of las fallas comes from 16th-century Spain when carpenters set their workshops on fire as a kind of a spring cleaning. In addition to witnessing pyrotechnics, bibliophiles are invited to bring their dog-eared tomes to exchange with strangers, commemorating the death of two literary giants — Cervantes and Shakespeare — who both died April 23, 1616. It's all part of UNESCO's International Day of the Book celebration.
April 23-May 1, 7 p.m., 2010

 
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