NACIMOS EN JAULAS. ABRIMOS LAS ALAS Y VOLAMOS
EDGAR FABIÁN FRÍAS
My performances were inspired by two of Laura Aguilar’s pieces Nature Self-Portrait #5, 1996 and Three Eagles Flying, 1990, which is the photograph that can be seen in this documentation provided. During a conversation in 2017 on her art practice at USC, students attempted to ask Aguilar for theoretical explanations of her work. Aguilar was disinterested with these questions and reiterated over and over that she created her art for herself. Her art saved her and was her personal sanctuary. Inspired by Aguilar’s words on her approach to art-making, I allowed myself to dive deep into practices that bring me joy: making gifs, music production, performance, video editing, and exploring emotionality in public settings.
For the performance I wore a silver bodysuit with a plush chicken-head on my face and hundreds of ribbons tied around myself, mirroring Aguilar’s Three Eagles Flying. I emerged into the main exhibition space laughing loudly and bound by the ribbons while a psychedelic video and electronic music played in the background. I danced joyously, traversing the entire exhibition space, until I finally freed myself from the ribbons. After this, I ran throughout the exhibition vacillating between emotional expressions. Allowing myself to be aware of my reaction to expressing joy, pain, anger, defeat, hopelessness, and elation while being witnessed by a large crowd of people. Taking moments to connect with the images of Laura and ephemera from her life as well as with my own body. Finally, after a few minutes, I slowly descended into more hopelessness and defeat. My energy slowed down, as did the music playing. At times, I would fall and hit the ground, slowly getting back up and attempting to dance again, only to fall again. The performance came to a conclusion when I finally collapsed and took an extended moment of respite in front of Aguilar’s photography.