May 21, 2022 11:11 pm

Helicopter music: the hit of the summer

In his remarkable documentary fake of 2002 Mariano Llinás was in charge of underlining the absurdity that beats under the Argentine summer in all its variants: from the Atlantic coast of cold waters and pampas winds to the artificial spas delimited by dams in the mountains. spas, that’s the name of the film that Malba screened during the rare summer of 2002, was an exploration of costumbrismo and kitsch that occurs around a vacation in which nobody ever relaxes (copyright Juan José Saer). The corrosive eye of Llinás caught the vacationers in that summer effort to tame rough beaches that could well be classified as the anti-Caribbean. His “star” spas It was Zucco, a sort of mountain Poseidon capable of everything: from going up rivers against the current to cooking shellfish (?) like the best paellero from Mar del Plata and producing works of art like unusual sheet metal piranhas.


Just as before it brought cover girls and a hit, things that seemed to be in retreat, our summer is lavish in happenings. That is, situations that seem planned by artists who are friends with the grotesque. We already had a churrero chased by the beach police whom the Pinamar bathers defended by buying the entire production of the afternoon in a strange rapture of self-righteous consumption worthy of a wealthy Robin Hood but also of Minister Berni (not a Rosario maestro but a air to Bob Gelfof’s The Wall) flying by helicopter over neighboring Villa Gesell. As if the Atlantic wind that is merciless with the ephemeral beach constructions were not enough, the blades caused a whirlpool that tore the umbrellas that are so difficult to nail (I don’t know about you but I could never do it quite well) in the sand. A scene worthy of Zucco de Llinás or the Batman of the 60s or 60s themselves.


For some reason the helicopter, an ominous object since the flight of President De la Rúa, is part of the history of Argentine art. On July 25, 1965, Marta Minujín, sponsored by The country from Montevideo, guided a happening from a helicopter from which live chickens were thrown into the perplexed audience. Plastic Event at the Club Atlético Cerro stadium. It all ended in pandemonium with strippers and bikers circling the field. Two years later, pop philosopher Oscar Masotta made Di Tella rent another unit driven by pilot Luis Losada for the happening The helicopter held simultaneously at the Anchorena station and the Theatron room with Nacha Guevara accredited as a dancer in the hand program. Twenty years later or almost, the “Pep music” group Los Helicópteros and the neo-expressionist painter Dulio Pierri came together for the cover art of the second album Fire & Cement, perhaps a metaphor for the dead-end summer in Buenos Aires city. Pierri had seen first-hand the New York underworld of Blondie, Basquiat and street art and had been giving the shape of helicopters to some mutant mosquitoes that he painted insistently and with a punk imprint. In the end, it was the turn of the artist Eduardo Basualdo to put a helicopter in the 2017 edition of ArteBA, activating the sleeping ghost of the symbology that the flying artifact had for Argentines since 2001.


And what if, in the absence of a tropical bombshell of those that end up saturating the nervous system, we declared the hit of the summer 2022 to the helicopters? Not the group that the Buenos Aires underground disdained for cheto (these are worth rediscovering, prejudices aside) but the string quartet conceived by the German avant-garde Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007), a pioneer of electronic music. Composed in 1995, the “Helicopter String Quartet” was one of the greatest daring acts of the 20th century with four performers arranged in separate helicopters listening to the rest through headphones. The strings slipped in glissando they had the function of imitating the blades of the apparatus and were rhythmic by precise vocal exclamations. Just an atonal idea for the end of the season, nothing more.

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