TONIGHT!!! QUEERGASM, at Northwestern University.
Performances by Rebecca Kling, Kiam Marcelo Junio/Jerry Blossom, Keijaun Thomas, Dirty Grits, Amanda Stefanski, and Ejaz Ali & Oeshik Chowdhury.
I’ll be performing my durational piece, “Sewing Station” during the social hour, and “AmeriKararoke” to open the show.
Don’t miss this if you’re in Chicago or Evanston!
Tomorrow night at Roxaboxen, Jerry Blossom will sing classic American songs on #karaoke for Anatomy/Gift/Association presents: Cabaret Cabaret One Year Anniversary. Don’t miss it! #art #performance #chicago #politics #immigration #diaspora #America #colonialism #capitalism #military #USA ##workinprogress #queer #failure
It feels extremely taxing to constantly create work about the “self” - in image, in politics, in gender, race, and history. We are all complete beings with our own narratives with varying amounts of intersecting oppressions and privileges. I don’t ever want to be perceived as saying that my story is any more worthy or interesting than anyone else’s. But with the fact of my practice, as a performative artist, these issues are always brought to the forefront. As a performer, I am always subjecting my self to fetishization, and therefore, also everything my body and history symbolizes.
I want to take a bit of a break and just make pretty things that people enjoy. And get back into my personal yoga practice, because I think I really need that right now.
I could use a good hug too.
- 70 Percent of Anti-LGBT Murder Victims Are People of Color
- While people of color make up about 30 percent of the United States’ population, they account for 60 percent of those imprisoned.
- Report: Immigration Status aRace Affect Domestic Workers’ Pay
- Once convicted, black offenders receive longer sentences compared to white offenders. The U.S. Sentencing Commission stated that in the federal system black offenders receive sentences that are 10 percent longer than white offenders for the same crimes.
- Marijuana Prohibition Turns 75, Blacks Three Times More Likely to be Arrested Than Whites
- According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, one in three black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime.
- A number of states have bans on people with certain convictions working in domestic health-service industries such as nursing, child care, and home health care—areas in which many poor women and women of color are disproportionately concentrated.
- African Americans were twice as likely to be arrested and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with the police.
- The prison population grew by 700 percent from 1970 to 2005, a rate that is outpacing crime and population rates. The incarceration rates disproportionately impact men of color: 1 in every 15 African American men and 1 in every 36 Hispanic men are incarcerated in comparison to 1 in every 106 white men.
- [TW: Rape] Canadian police accused of abusing native women
- CNN breaks down the numbers: > Nearly nine out of 10 people “stopped and frisked” under a controversial New York Police Department policy in 2011 were African-American or Hispanic.
- The War on Drugs Is Really a War on Minorities
- Martin Luther King assassinated by US government: MLK civil trial decision
Jerry Blossom, for my new series, Model Minority, which explores and complicates intersections of colonialism, privilege, standards of beauty, westernization, and the performativity of race and gender, specifically from a Filipino American immigrant perspective.
A Kid Again
Public Installation, Chicago Suburbs, IL,
A Kid Again started as a means to contest how public space is deemed heterosexual space by default; by adding my queer narrative to the public sphere, I wanted take up those physical spaces where I felt my identity was either a burden or simply erased. Using the past, I developed a sort of queer map of moments in the suburbs where I grew up.
When I distilled the 11 moments to their circumstances, I realized how misinformed and harmful my perceptions of acceptance, free will, and reality were as a child and adolescent. I had internalized homophobia to the point where I viewed my existence as an “other-sexual” as an inconvenience to “normal” people. This project attempts to start, in public, those dialogues that I never could.
So I printed the moments on signs, put them in the locations where they occurred, and expressed those things that I felt I was never supposed to.
After 5 hours (from 5 AM to 10 AM), there were 3 signs left standing. Many were taken within 2 hours of their installation.
Chicago, July 3rd, 2012
I know it’s still Christmas, and we all should be thinking positive, being happy, and stuffing our faces and stomachs to the brim. But when ready, please read the article linked. And think how we each have made an impact on the world, and how we have been framing our minds around our personal and social environments. Then, begin to think how we can prepare ourselves for the coming year/s, and what changes we need to make in our own lives.
This is a crucial point in American, no - World, history. We can’t continue ignoring the problems as they surmount. And change always begins with the individual.
It is the cult of self that is killing the United States. This cult has within it the classic traits of psychopaths: superficial charm, grandiosity and self-importance; a need for constant stimulation; a penchant for lying, deception and manipulation; and the incapacity for remorse or guilt…
…And this is also the ethic promoted by corporations. It is the ethic of unfettered capitalism. It is the misguided belief that personal style and personal advancement, mistaken for individualism, are the same as democratic equality. It is the nationwide celebration of image over substance, of illusion over truth.
Link to Gawker.com. A necessary read, if you live in this world.
I remember being a kid in the Philippines, thinking the USA was a land of good and plenty, of everyone having jobs. Yes, at the age of 6, I was thinking of people’s jobs, as my uncle only held sporadic positions in “jobs-of-the-week” from being a tricycle driver, to a construction man. Often, I didn’t even know what he did. I also knew that the Philippines was not in great form. I read about the corruption, all the murders in the cities, I knew about prostitution, and racism. I thought, “one day, I will live in America, where all the world’s problems are solved. They have McDo’ everywhere there, and all the buildings have a fountain in the yard.”
The America I see now as an adult is obviously nowhere near this fantastic vision, and it’s unfair for me to expect it to be so. But having lived in other countries, and seeing how different people value different aspects of life, of treating one another, it’s very easy to criticize the way we do things in the US.
I am now a US Citizen, I work in the US Navy, and I am also a product of this society. I AM AMERICAN. Sometimes I wish I weren’t. But most of the time, I am glad and feel fortunate for being so.
Is it unpatriotic to criticize your own country? Of course not, that’s why we have the freedoms of speech, religion, everything that the forefathers promised. But with good intentions are also people who will take advantage of the resources for selfish endeavors. We can talk on and on about examples, but the fact remains that some people are good, some are bad, which also translates to governments and leaders that are good, leaders that are bad.
Now why does this matter, when all the world, all countries, also have corrupt leaders and corporations, and religious conflict and hate? Because we lead the developed world. People are still looking to America as I did when I was a child. If we can’t hold up to our own standards, how do we expect to create a better world out there?
We are leading the world, but must we? Well, who are the other alternatives? Do we want to follow the way of China, Korea, Iran, France, Germany? Who is willing to step up and tell the leader to “stand aside, we got this”? I’m all for a better, more peaceful world, in which people are treated as people and not as commodities. I’m all for peace, and environmental respect, and raising individuals to strive for their highest potential.
Or am I still that child, dreaming of things that aren’t, nor will ever be?
Oh, you French,
with your fancy language
syllables all rolling into one another
like milk in saucers, swirling
so cat-like, nose up high
prancing as you sip your café
in tiny cups I struggle
to hold between two fingers,
my thumbs are cumbersome, I guess.
I call for you,
Sitting languid in your lounge chair
can’t be bothered at this time
for l’ addición, sil-vous-plait!
We shake heads at each other
you deride me for my crude
ignorant tongue, my heavy footsteps
lugging dirt through the carpet
I forget to realize
someone has to clean
And when we eat, oh French,
you, with your bisque au fruit de mer
Beouf bourginion avec pomme frites
you laugh at my hamburger
all sloppy and floppy
and the ketchup dripping down my shirt
I hear you stole
Créme Bruleé from the Catalans!
And forever, they hate you
But I don’t, oh French
pastries and cakes,
with things you know
you really know well.
I hear you gave money to the jobless
and told him to see a play
I hear you cared for the sick
and didn´t ask for an insurance card
I hear you took the homeless kid
and put her through college
the whisper of your trains
gliding across Europe, like ice skates
my highways don’t sound so nice.
I could really learn to live like you
or at least
dress like you, buttons all
lined up properly
while I’m missing a few
Oh, you French,
Even though you never
back me up when I ask you to
You are still
my starving artist big brother
who’d rather munch on principles
I guess that’s why
your women are so thin
even though we have our differences,
you’re still pretty cool, oh French,
though I guess you already knew that.