Will you bury me?
Will you help?
makes use of a choreography of grief to signal alternative ways of rethinking subjecthood. Using my own Afro-Latine female geography,
I make use of meditation and abject performance as a method of moving with the transformative process of grief. Here, I see the abject as Leticia Alvarado does,
as an aesthetic strategy for leveraging political possibilities by disrupting the reifying elements of social order.
Turning the spectator into spect-actor, members of the audience become characters who take the stage
and involve themselves in the social realities of performance. With each hand full of dirt I aim to make the audience conscious of the physical, social, mental, and emotional labor it takes to attend to the living, the dead, and the transformative power of the grieving process.
Moreover, As an artistic process,
audience participation instantiates transparency
and hands over agency to those who actively engage in the work. I ask that the audience move with me, feel with me, que se encusian in the name of grief
to re-route the misrecognition of blackness from already dead to “in the wake”.
Still, I realize mournful movement is not something I can do alone, it requires accompaniment. It requires hapticality, an interior sentiment of love that occurs by others feeling you. Together, we not only defend the dead but carefully tend to the assemblages of black life that must carry on in spaces of impending death or what Franz Fanon would call “hell”. In an effort to re-route blackness out of it’s contemporary hellscape, Entierro moves the black subject-object away from the zone of non-being to a site of grief that makes blackness a grievable subject and redirect spectactors from passive subjects to grieving ones.
Recognizing the transformative force that is mourning, this performance aims to manipulate the sociogenic sphere by bringing care and into the mix vis a vis the self-interrogating subject. That is to say, our current lack of care for black subjects is a grievance that must be rectified in order to take full advantage of the social condition of our primary vulnerability. In very material ways Entierro removes the black-body from a state of non-being to make it a visible subject worthy of sustained attention and care.
Beyond the assertion of visibility, this performance embraces lo socio, the dirty behavior that refuses conventional attitudes that we [Latines] “should not be too black, too poor, or too sexual” otherwise they might be deemed as wasteful and thus dehumanized as inferior. Instead I ask my audience to get dirty with me; put the dirt in your hands to cultivate a subject that arises out of a racialized and collective labor. As such, this performance is a critical intervention that makes the spect-actor consider new ways of caring, living with blackness/brownness, and more crucially loving one another.