EEUU, 2019

Arroz con Popote Series

Performer, red hand-dyed rice, straws

Originally performed by Neimyiah Whittley at Leonard Pearlstein Gallery, Philadelphia, USA

Dimensions variable

4 minutes, 30 seconds

Awards

2020 Best Dance Film, 1st Annual Bump’n’Grind Film and Performance Fest, Toronto, Canada

2019 14th Annual Juried Art Exhibition Award, Juror: James Claiborne, William Way LGBT Community Center, Philadelphia, PA

Artwork CV

2020 Noche de Película, Film Festival, PDX Latinx Pride, Portland, OR (virtual)

2020 1st Annual Bump’n’Grind Film and Performance Fest, Toronto, Canada (Nominations: Best Dance Film, Best Performance Film) (award) (virtual)

2020 Roxie Roz Burlesque, Atlanta, Georgia, USA (virtual)

2020 In 24-Hours: Desirable Feelings, Online Exhibition, The Wall Space Gallery, Scotland, UK (Curated by Ayshia Taskin and [SHIFT:ibpcpa]) (virtual)

2019 14th Annual Juried Art Exhibition, William Way LGBT Community Center Gallery, Philadelphia, PA (Juror: James Claiborne, independent curator and Public Programming Manager, African American Museum, Philadelphia)

2019 215 | 610 CONTEMPORARY: Juried Exhibition of Regional Emerging Artists, Art Gallery, Delaware County Community College, Media, PA (Juror: Jodi Throckmorton, Curator of Contemporary Art, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Museum)

Work Statement

Raised in rural Mexico with an idealistic view of the United States, I was surprised to find out later in life that much of the hype about the land of the free was and still is propaganda by US nationalists. EEUU (USA abbreviation in Spanish) is a reflection on realities Unistatians tend to avoid about their country, the inequalities and injustices. While these concerns are now part of mainstream dialogues, they are still in danger of being left unresolved and swept back under the rug.

EEUU is part of a series which pays homage to my Mexican heritage. Materials used in the performance, rice and straws, come from the euphemistic expression arroz con popote (to eat rice pudding with a straw/phallus). This expression is Mexican slang for male homosexuality, used with or without any intention to offend. "He likes el arroz con popote." The performance brings together my heritage with the culture I'm now surrounded by. The original performer, Neimyiah Whittley (b. Milwaukee, WI), also a queer person of color, was invited to use this performance as an outlet to reflect on injustices he himself has faced in the US.