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Pumpkin Magic
Pumpkin Magic
2014

Performance with Anabel Vázquez, curated by Hector Canonge during the Month of Performance Art, Berlin

Inspired by the Real Cedula de Gracias, the nineteenth century royal decree from the Spanish crown encouraging European settlement in Cuba + Puerto Rico; Meditation on Yellow, by Jamaican poet Olive Senior; and La hora de volve, by Dominican musical artist Rita Indiana.

In La hora de volve, Indiana appeals to members of the Spanish-speaking diaspora to return to their native homes (whether by plane or homemade raft), like "pumpkin magic", in an effort to rebuild their societies collectively, rather than run away from its many disfunctions. It is a revolutionary message for a region that continues to be defined by exploitative, colonialist policies and mass emigration.

Our use of honey in this piece is thus, a critical reflection of the fascination and lust exhibited by colonial settlers in their avarice for gold and sugarcane profits, though our treatment of this radiant, golden nectar is also frugal and reverential, referencing the viscid substance's religious uses in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica.

We take turns savoring large amounts of it in our mouths before spitting most of it back into the vessel to be used again...there is even a point at which the honey is poured directly into my eyes--a tangible allusion to indigenous mystical practices as well as the shortsightedness of European colonialists.

In the end, it is a celebration of this magnificent ambrish-yellow foodstuff, having seemingly caught the sun in its mucosal membrane. This superior sweetener, which predates sugarcane cultivation in the "Old World" as well as the "New", represents that magical thing for which a return to an ancestral home becomes essential, despite significant social malaise.

"living is like licking honey off a thorn.” — Louis Adamic

Link to a review of our piece by Philip Kevin Brehse
Link to video excerpt