IF MY BODY WERE YOU, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
QUEEN OF LUXURIA
“If my body were you, what would you do?” is a performance that was inspired by the election of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, the impact of Trump’s election, and the ongoing misogynistic rhetoric towards women and our bodies in the USA at this moment in time. The performance makes visible the physical feelings that entered our bodies at the moment of each man’s election and their complete disregard and disrespect for our bodies.
In 2010, in evolution of a poetry practice documenting my own life, I decided to interview the public, working with a feminist consciousness that the personal is political. The poems became a starting point for performance. In this performance art piece, I pull the poem entitled “A Taste of Honey” out of my mouth that I wrote for Jose Hernandez, who now goes by Rose Hernandez. The visceral textuality of the poem is performed in a facial choreography as I pull the entire text out of my mouth. I then stitch the text “My Body” onto my breast and invite the audience to select text from the poem, which maps a woman’s erogenous zones. A book is placed at the end of the table entitled Utopic Dialectics (upside down), that spells out Silence, each page holding each letter. I tear each page and invite the audience to participate in spelling the word SILENCE. When the word is spelled, I stand with the participants and throw my mouth contraption onto the floor. I then perform the poem for Sylvia Hikins called “A Long Road” that talks about the long road to liberty and how it takes action.
There is a double meaning in the decision to use the word Silence. The first is to make visible the loud silence that was compounding our collective bodies the day our current president was elected. The second is to create a moment to reflect on how we need silence when living under a political machine that employs the spectacle as a tactic. The performance is poetic and speaks to the beauty of what it means to be a womxn that is part of the ongoing philosophy of the queen of luxuria. In the persona of queen of luxuria, I use the queer theoretical approach of homovestism to celebrate everything that is womxn.