~performative experiments~

The works on this page include mini-projects, experiments, medium explorations, and performance "sketches" that stand alone or can be envisioned as parts of larger, future projects. These projects may not have names or fall under any label or category - they may find themselves between documents of performance or video works of their own. 

Sometimes You Just Want To Know   (March 2021)

This is an attempt to intimately shatter or break through crystalized notions surrounding homophobia within the Latino community - my tool for this project is conversation, set over the action of making pupusas. There is a pupuseria named Casa Latina in Hudson, right by my studio, that is run by a special woman named, Maria Romero. She’s had her brick and mortar business up for a few years now. Her and her sprawling unit of a family are a staple in town and they are like family to me. Maria has seen me transform over the years and while she is like my mother in some ways, she’s seen more of me and my work than my own parents have. Our bond is deep.

 

Maria is who I wanted to “sit down” with. She has a gay son named Javi, who is engaged at the moment. Javi works at Casa Latina too. From all that I’ve seen on the outside, Maria and her family have never rejected Javi for being who he is. It’s been a major inspiration to me - Maria and I have even collaborated once on an event - “ARENA: Noche Latinx”, which brought the Latinx/o community together from all over the Valley for a night of drag, live music and food. 

 

I’ve also been working a lot with masa - making tortillas and pupusas as a form of somatic research and performative unlearning/learning. It’s been a way for me to connect to my ancestry and family. In contemplating a conversation with Maria about gayness, feminine traditions, family antics, I knew I wanted to have a grounding meditative task at hand. A task that I’ve only ever taught myself how to take on through my practice. A task which she now teaches me how to take on. Over the course of 15 or so pupusas, we talk about her history with making them, her relationship to her son Javi, my own relationship to my parents, how my visible queer idenity is percceived/unpercieved by them, and the “machista” ethos embedded in Salvadorian culture.

 

This conversation only begins to scratch the surface but it most certainly disrupts a familiar narrative. And while her answers are complicated, especially in regards to her son, the underlying truths that we see are that a mother’s love can outweigh the spell-bound, traditional outlooks over that preside over queer brown identities. She is one Salvadorian mother out of many in the world - and her own perspective and generosity shines like a beacon of hope through clouds of oppression within our brown community. What’s found here is: just as masa and the foods made from it are inherited generationally, so are some of the most unhealthy, discriminatory beliefs. Both traditions have the potential to be challenged, re-imagined and transformed.

4815 NY-9H   (Feb 2021)

Film/document of a green screen, performance intervention in Germantown, NY. A piece on confronting violence with love, converted from rage. Does their violence weaponize my love? A site where two ends collide. How do you perform a protest without remaining physically present? Does the spirit of a demonstration carry on after its "completion"? Can the green screen remain as public domain for other layered actions? How do you steal a sign that isn't meant to be stolen, especially on stolen land.

 

Filmed by myself and Tomm Roeschlein feat. "Cuando Tu Me Querias" by Celia Cruz.