CARLOS ARANDA MÁRQUEZ
The Short, English Version: We must start by declaring that I work in a rather uncomfortable way. I am not interested in documenting by any means any of my performances. If you attended it, fine. If not, you can read the conceptual planning of the piece, and perhaps see a photograph illustrating a section of the planning, but you won’t see any video nor photos documenting the action. Why? I want to return its radical premises to the medium. I want to stop turning the documentation of the performance into a commodity. Many people have stopped attending performances because they will rely on the videos or the images from any observer to remember it. No, if you did not come to the performance, you didn’t have the thrill of watching me provoking you. “Reading Animals” was a performance commissioned by Julio García Murillo for the exhibit: Taxinomia ex Fabula to be presented in the Mexican gallery Border, May 12, 2011 in Mexico City. For the opening night, people could read the eight pages, stating the conceptual framework and the description of the action. You could decide to watch the performance or not. 75 persons decided to go and pay to see the animal. The spectators who arrived to the Border gallery, and eventually understood there was a performance going on, would go to the closed door of the room-cage and faced a well dressed guardian keeping watch, who would ask if you wanted to get in, but he would advise you not to speak to the animal. Once inside, there was a single Zenithal light that just formed a circle. To the left, I was seated, with goatee, no moustache, a male black shirt, a leather mid-calf skirt, a pair of black stay up stockings and male leather combat boots. I would be staring into the Nothingness. The pimp-guardian would ask you in a low voice if there was something else you wanted to see; if so, it would cost you five pesos; then, after paying, I would open my legs and they would see my vagina. The reactions went from shock to surprise, even glee. Some were looking for the video cameras, others requested how much for touching or the picture. They were kindly asked to leave the room. I must state that I am not gay but I want to put upside down all our notions of identity, gender, ethnicity, or else.