portfolio > Cuba + Puerto Rico | Invitación a Volar

4x cans of Goya green pickled jalapeño peppers.
2x bars of "Hispano" laundry soap with the tagline: "Quality from people that keep improving."
Bucket of dirty water borrowed from Adriana Sevila's durational performance in which she cleaned the gallery floor on her hands and knees for over 3 hours.
Body rub comprised of dirt, coconut oil and a 2+ year-old mixture of chocolate syrup, molasses, and coffee.
Audio sample from the 1932 film: Island of Lost Souls, featuring an early use of the phrase "the natives are restless."

I enter the gallery covered in a sticky, sugary black material while Adriana cleans and Valeska finishes consuming a mango. I take the bucket of dirty gallery-floor water and use it and the Hispano soap to clean myself. After a certain amount of time I dump the entire bucket of water on myself--a failed cleansing. Adriana takes the bucket back and resumes cleaning the gallery floor. I stack the Goya cans two high and put one of the bars of soap in my mouth. I attempt to balance myself on the stacks of Goya in front of a wall. Once I achieve balance, I begin to use the mixture of soap, molasses, and saliva that is collecting around my mouth to write the phrase "THE NATIVES ARE RESTLESS" with my fingers. The pain from being barefoot on these cans and my increasingly unstable posture causes the writing on the wall to become hurried and frantic. Once I have completed the phrase, I take the soap out of my mouth and dismount from the cans, kicking them aside. I look up at the scrawled, barely visible phrase and then press play on a small mp3 player by the window. A soft sample of Hollywood dialogue plays in the room and the audience hears the original wording of the phrase I have just written as I exit the gallery.

Ruth Thomas: [hearing chanting] What's that?
Dr. Moreau: The natives, they have a curious ceremony. Mr. Parker has witnessed it.
Ruth Thomas: Tell us about it, Edward.
Edward Parker: Oh, it's... it's nothing.
Dr. Moreau: They are restless tonight.

Performance during the ¡qué lástima! vol.1 group show of Boston-based Latin@ visual artists, Godine Family Gallery @ Mass. College of Art & Design | May 23, 2013

concurrent performances by Adriana Sevila & Valeska Freire Marulanda
documentation by Anabel Vázquez and Ivanna Bergese