Shelter in place art is rapidly becoming a very recognizable aesthetic. Take for example Nino Augustine’s video for the reggaetónero’s latest party anthem “Meneito” for an idea of where sedentary curve flattening has led us. His now-ironic lyrics hail from a pre-COVID world where you could go out to clubs and even bring people home sin miedo. Visuals insist that that world will be back one day.
The clip, directed by the same team behind Augustine’s reptilic “Miénteme” (Nilo Tabrizy, with production by Tabrizy and Mae Ryan’s Tasteful Nudes project), features Augustine and 30-plus other people dancing in their own quarantines. The result is oddly personal. Sure, we’re all still mastering the art of framing, but these endless video streams do bring the chance for personalized set design of our most private spaces. The result is something social, yet unsettlingly not-normal—the live equivalent of that comic dog in the flaming room that says, “This is fine.”
Somehow through the experiment, the video maintains the shape of the beach party shoot as which the “Meneito’s” video was originally planned. In a quick pivot, Augustine put the call for talent out through his own social media. The bafflingly attractive dancers who wine between airhorns reported from New York, Atlanta, Puerto Rico, Paris and London. Many welcomed the well-deserved opportunity to bear a midriff. Others swerve in hoodies in their kitchen. One person wears a large transparent puffy vest that appears to keep its shape through being stuffed with t-shirts.
You get the feeling that we’re all getting better at this kind of performance the longer that we’re stuck in the COVID crisis. Maybe, “Meneito” says, when we get out of here we’ll at least have some new moves. “It’s an aspirational video of our hopes and dreams post-coronavirus,” says Tabrizy in the clip’s press release, as if something one creates right now could be about anything else.
Watch “Meneito” here: