project image
Geraldo Mercado

first performed on April 16, 2015
Panoply Performance Laboratory, Brooklyn, NY
performed once in 2015


New York, NY


I entered the space with a flesh-colored bra and a brand new pair of high-waisted Hanes underwear. I played a soundbed composed of medical videos slowed down until they became unintelligible and resembled an upset stomach. On the wall behind me, I hung photos of my intestines from a capsule endoscopy. The procedure was performed in 2007 to diagnose an autoimmune disease affecting the small intestine.

I bound my legs tightly with zip ties to adhere the honeycomb tripe, pork stomachs and intestines along the front of my legs and stomach. I applied zip ties until I could no longer use my legs. The tension of the zip ties caused my skin to protrude in the areas between the plastic restraints. My goal was to resemble a roast, ready to be placed in an oven, for the centerpiece of a holiday meal. The ties around my waist were especially tight and interfered with air flow.

I stood until it became too difficult to maintain balance and dragged myself along the floor, inches from the audience’s feet. The stomachs released a lot of moisture and, at first, I was able to glide across the floor. Over time, the act of dragging my entire weight became increasingly difficult. The soundbed cut out and all that could be heard was my grunting and panting.

I alternated between dragging myself around and attempting to stand, by hopping, before slipping and falling back on the ground. As I dragged myself, my bra and underwear became sopping wet from the stomach juices and mopped up every speck of dirt on the floor. My pristine, white undergarments turned a murky gray color that matched the floor.

After becoming exhausted, I sat down and removed the restraints.