How can we create a lineage for “othered” bodies when our legacies may not be carried on by children of our own? Awilda Rodríguez Lora and emily north documented matrilineal bloodlines through storytelling and live tattooing performed by north onto Lora’s body. They honored their ancestors in an exchange that breaks through the surface of skin and questions the temporality of art and life. History was marked on their bodies as stories were shared. Through the ritual of tattooing, they attempted to reduce harm as their bloodlines moved their futures. Explorations included reconceiving still-life, the body as a siphon for history, mapping POC and queer lineage, familial heritages of religion and mental illness. This conversation was broadcasted live, via the SOHO20 facebook page.
Artists are notoriously bad at sports and many of us have addictions/habits that lead to an early demise. I never did well in gym class in high school. My favorite activities require sitting in a chair. In order to balance out my time being sedentary, I've developed a secret love for workout videos. I've come to love an endorphin high as much as I love drawing. When short on time, the necessity to work out competes with precious time for making art. For one month, I set out to combine two opposing forces and worked out in my studio with my artwork. This video represents 15 seconds of each work out done within one month. While my physical ability progresses, my artwork progresses. This project is a work in progress.
Cupcake is an installation and performance that explores sensuality and gender in a domestic setting. The piece was initially a performative installation at Rutgers Mason Gross Galleries. I dressed as a 1970’s housewife and decorated cupcakes for gallery-goers with the fruit of their choice, implicating personal choices around gender and sexuality. The performance was later recreated as a narrative video. As an exploration of the fetishization/consumption of food and queer bodies, the video follows a housewife as she makes cupcakes for her son and friends and shares the pleasure of consuming baked treats.
Set design by emily north: Hand-printed wallpaper, cardboard stove, collaged “panelling” and flooring.
In this 2015 performance in San Juan, Puerto Rico, I dress as a housewife and ask my audience to privately tell me one white lie that they have told, which I then write on paper in invisible lemon juice ink. When the ink dries, I iron each sheet of paper carefully, revealing the lies that were written. I then hang the paper on a clothesline for the audience to see. Through the act of ironing and revealing, I play the role of a caretaker, attempting to uncover and “iron out” the errors of my compatriots. As a woman, I am told that it is better to lie than tell a hard truth. As a queer person, I am encouraged to speak vaguely of my personal life. When in mostly-white or middle class settings, topics of money and racism are hush-hush. This piece was formulated in response to instances of denial around recent acts of racism and violence. I am interested in encouraging others come clean and explore our supposedly harmless lies.
This performance explores the act of divulging secrets to strangers within a ritualistic space. Within an installation suggestive of home-brewed magic, my audience is offered the opportunity to erase regret. Volunteers enter and privately confess one wrongdoing to me. I apply bloodline tattoo of a letter that stands for their wrongdoing. This tattoo, done with a needle and sterile water, creates a red scratch mark that heals in 2 weeks. Participants face their regrets with a promise to be healed.
Originally performed at Brooklyn Museum's Crossing Brooklyn exhibit, 2013.
Poppopisms is a letterpress book hand-set with vintage metal type and printed on the vandercook press. This book is based on routine phrases said by my grandfather, many borrowed from popular songs of the 1940's. The booklet is modeled after the leather wallet he carried with him daily and includes a replica of a cutout he carried from the Land-o-lakes box, a photo of himself and my grandmother, and a poem written by my sister designed in receipt format.
Playing with the viewer's perception of public/private space and assumptions around female sexuality, the viewer follows the artist as she draws her deepest desires while riding public transportation.
This video was part of a collaborative chain letter curated by Felix Endara for the 2003 MIX Experimental Film Festival.