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Pablo Cano's "Seven Wonders of the Modern World" Mixes Art and Politics at MOCA

Rush Limbaugh? Sean Hannity? Bill O'Reilly? All you right-wing gasbags can line up and get ready to kiss Pablo Cano's ass. Miami's favorite puppet master has a doozy lined up to give all the Obama haters their just desserts.

"It's very up to date, a whimsical comedy," Cano says. "I think it's very much an American folk piece," adds the artist who mentions the production was three years in the making. Inspired by Barack Obama's historic election, Cano has created "The Seven Wonders of the Modern World" for his 12th Annual Commission at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) for a multiple-performance run with a cast of skull-staving marionettes ready to smack the sawdust out of the ditto heads.

The leader of the free world's likeness is constructed out of a grandfather clock. In the lavish multi-media production, scripted by Carmen Pelaez and choreographed by Katherine Kramer, Cano explores seven phenomena that he feels have improved life today scored to melodies from 16th century overtures to 20th century show tunes.

"I think it's wonderful we live in a democracy where people can take dissent for granted. I used this picture of Obama I found in the National Inquirer for the clock which also has a Latin inscription inscribed on it that reminds us how time flies. The President's message of change is uplifting and this will appeal to audiences of all ages," he says.

Cano's Obama plays emcee and engages various "wonders" ranging from rockets composed of coffee cans to "Amazonia," "Google Lina," and "Facebooka" with ukulele bodies and basket heads. "You'll even see bobby pins doing a fox trot and a cell phone frog crooning like Maurice Chevalier and thanking 'heaven for liiiittle cell phones,' in a thick accent," the artist explains.

"There is a lot of political, religious, and pop culture iconography in the show and Pelaez's writing has turned it into a masterpiece," Cano says. "The stage is sort of like an altar and it's inside a shopping cart sort of like a nod to capitalism," informs Cano. "At one point a toothbrush sings 'Strangers in the Night' to Minty, a tube of tooth paste," he says, with a laugh. "Fresh breath is one of the wonders of the world, don't you think"?

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Cano says he thinks Obama is "doing a great job" and that this is his first ever production with a Yankee Doodle vibe. "I love this country and would gladly give my life for it," says Cano. "Our Constitution is one of the true wonders of the modern world. It guarantees all of us freedom no matter where we come from or even how much we disagree. This is the type of show that could only be created in America," Cano observes on the eve of the prez dispatching Osama Bin Laden.

Known for working with found objects fished from thrift stores and trash heaps, this year's production is Cano's tribute to the Theater of the Absurd. Sadly the artist couldn't find a douche bag in his travels so Ann Coulter is missing from his show.

Museum of Contemporary Art 770 NE 125th Street, North Miami. For times and ticket prices call 305-893-6211 or visit mocanomi.org.

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