NO PASA NADA
NOTHING IS HAPPENING HERE
One of Caleb Duarte‘s prominent symbols in his work is that of a floating slab of earth. Throughout the years that I’ve known him I have seen him use it to address issues of land rights, land extraction, and indigenous autonomy. Through mine and Caleb’s artistic and healing relationship with each other, the human body started to make its way into or on-top of the floating earth slab to represent the body in relationship to the earth.
I would bury her in hot sand for two hours a day, wrap her up in clay and canvas, spread creams and medicinal drops, and place heat with open cut plants taped over her body. It was a circus of body performances based on suffering and need, functional theatrical actions of self-inflicted false and lively hopes for cures. These isolated performances soon became community performances extending into larger social and political investigations. Looking back, everything was interconnected. Our personal and creative paths lined up in Chiapas.
-Excerpt from Zapantera Negra Book
In this specific enactment, the floating earth slab is made of concrete, and the figure in action is myself, a body who is showing herself as both disabled and resilient at the same time. This performance evokes a certain level of discomfort in the audience as they stand as witnesses to a symbolic reenactment of the effects of ableism- many were hesitant to enter the room, and when they did they stayed as close to the walls as possible. Others, all men, responded to our call out to participate in lifting the heavy concrete slab for the duration of the performance- a clear display of machismo and historic gender roles. Throughout the duration of the piece Francisco Hidalgo, A local healer gave wisdom on the power of the mind to control strength. As the men went weary these energy exercises revitalized them. While the men learned how to harness true strength they also witnessed my “disabled” body holding myself up and crawling without break for three hours- showing the true power of the feminine. As the men continually lifted the concrete, my disabled form became on their eye level, closing the distance between ablest classes, they shared the pain of my weight. Lastly, the precarious structure in which this performance is held calls to question institutions and the irony of their claims as safe spaces for the disabled community.
Galeria el Cerillo, Chiapas, Mexico 2010
Temporal Sculpture and Three-hour Community Performance
Mia Eve, Caleb Duarte, Francisco Hidalgo, Judy Stone
With volunteers from San Cristobal Community