Misterio Tropical exposes reductive ideas of Latinas in Miami that pool them with other tourist attractions and enable stereotypes about their image. These passionate, sexy, tropical pillars are staples on brochures and necessary to the Miami experience. The blatant objectification of Latinas works to hypnotize its target audience and redirect them from the reality of Miami’s ultra prevalent machismo, it’s devastating environmental fate, and its questionable economy. This work reclaims authority over Latina bodies and seduces the viewer with gestures that mock and subvert the male gaze. Color, tropical imagery, and ideas of self portraiture challenge what some might identify as Latina signifiers. The figure’s repetitive, uncanny movement has a mesmerizing effect that demands focus and stirs up self-consciousness. One becomes responsible for the feelings provoked by the video. The sexualization of the mango’s consumption is ironic—the imposition of being provocative infects even the most common activities. The mango is ultimately not eaten, but birthed, reminding the audience that women are players in the world and not tools for marketing. The soundtrack, a distorted sample of Willy Chirino’s “Soy Guajiro”, is intentional in recalling the commercial appropriation of Cuban culture as another aspect of tourism.
Can be viewed at Spinello Projects in Mere Façade, Summer 2017
Self Titled (Angel Garcia)
ONGOING - This performance is meant to explore my relationship with the name Angel Garcia and its associated image. I've chosen to focus on the character named Angel Garcia from the film noir Key Largo (1948), played by the late Dan Seymour. He is a Cuban man, employed by a gangster as one of his servants, that is involved in one of his boss' hairy dealings which is taking place in a hotel in South Florida. The noir, generally filmed within archetypal parameters, assumes an authority of its characters' identities or roles. As well, patriarchal systems do not bend to alternative representations of tradition, i.e. Angel Garcia is traditionally a man's name. Thus, can a woman be Angel Garcia? And is there an archetypal form for this name? Who can I ask, if not Angel Garcia? And is one's identity subject to their name?
con migo ando
Con Migo Ando uses personal anecdote and body politics as tools to reconcile identity issues in a time when physical appearance is a key component in sociopolitical theory. The pressure associated with body pruning to relay femininity in Miami where the Latina body is fetishized and commercialized in tandem with stereotypes dominating one's perception of how a Latin woman should look causes a discord in my personal identity that translates into imposter syndrome. Marrying my Latin upbringing with my white privilege then becomes a process of acknowledgement and mediation. Skin/body hair, gestures, and language become symbols of the space where I exist. This performance uses poetry, sound, movement, and set design to both obscure and make clear my process of negotiation.
Have you seen my fiancee?
A bride is a heteronormative image that implies the participation of other characters in a marriage play. One can only be a bride if they are first a fiancee and in contrast to a partner (traditionally a groom). While the former label is genderless, save for assumption, queer images of fiancees still don't exist in the realm of marriage. This performance poses the title question in search of an answer that makes room for an alternative. The Fiancee frantically roams a beach in search of their fiancee who has gone missing right before the wedding ceremony. There is no indication of gender in the Fiancee's speech or gesture. As well, they remain genderless. How can one assume the missing partner's costume or gender? The Fiancee also serves as a metaphor for the in-between stage of life for a female characterized by virginity and restrained by binary tradition. This type of woman lives only in anticipation of a wedding (ceremony of womanhood).
Borrowing from occult and Jodorowskian forms of theory and expression, Fortune's Womb transports the audience (consisting of a single person) to a nonsensical and reflective dimension of experience. Turning expectation on its head, the central figure appears to offer fortunes but actually creates an intuitive exchange involving objects, gestures, and cards with no associated meaning. "Meaning" is then configured by the audience's reformulation of expectation + experience. The central figure acts as a painting or a mirror, channeling information that is not accessible through verbal communication. The male gaze is subverted as per the central figure's servile counterparts, outfit, and overall domain, inviting sexual fantasy and the fetishization of the future to patronize their authority and sense of consumerism. Each performance is unique for every audience member.