Bryan Giuseppi Rodriguez Cambana
3 Day Training for True Love
15 – 16 September 2021
MattFlix presents Bryan Giuseppi Rodriguez Cambana’s 3 Day Training for True Love (2021), the third instalment in Not long but very good.
Not long but very good is a programme of four short artist films, each screened for 24 hours. The artists participating are all 2021 graduates from London art schools. Rodriguez Cambana graduated with an MA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London.
3 Day Training for True Love is a documentation of the artist’s work with five UK-based actors in character development sessions where they rehearsed Tupac Shakur’s song ‘Me and My Girlfriend’, which was released in 1996 under the moniker Makaveli. Directed by the artist, the group uses these sessions to embody the essence of Tupac as a multi-faceted character. The documentation culminates here in a 3-channel video installation in which all three channels respond to one other rhythmically, in synchronisation.
Rodriguez Cambana’s interest in the track originates in a desire to convey a specific energy that is sonically present, that describes love and rage as emotions rooted in a Black radical tradition. The artist views ‘Me and My Girlfriend’ as ‘a revolutionary love song, which describes a love inherently revolutionary as it is played out under oppressive circumstances/violence’. The song is thought to allude to Tupac's love for his gun, where references made to his girlfriend, or lover, can be understood as references to his weapon. Within this context, arming and loving (oneself and others) can be seen as non-mutually-exclusive practices.
The group examines the theatricality of identity markers employed by Tupac and also attached to him by the music industry, such as that of the 'Gangsta Rapper', a characterisation that carried (and still carries) a great deal of currency within the music industry. Composed of racialised tropes of Black men as emotionally untamed, it ultimately benefits a capitalist white agenda. This thought can be extended to the various mystical interpretations of Tupac's death and his presumed journey to the afterlife; the infamous 'Machiavellian' gesture.
Find out more about Bryan Giuseppi Rodriguez Cambana’s work at bryanrodriguezcambana.com