PonerMickeytarme: A Ritual of Feathers and Purification
A performance took place in a public space, in the middle of a protest against the introduction of education on gender identity in Puerto Rico’s public schools.
I am neither a leader of any political group nor the voice of the people. I am the rat of my own lab. I have spent several years doing performances in public spaces. This was not the first time and it will not be the last. Without permission or license. This urban intervention is the last of the series PonerMickeytarme, a multimedia performance that was presented at The Luis A. Ferré Performing Arts Center (Centro de Bellas Artes Luis A. Ferré) in Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico. In this piece, I work with my town Aibonito, the poultry industry, my family, and love. It is a fictionalized documentary autobiography. I am an artist of the body, a creator that uses real-life situations to immerse myself, utilizing freedom and aesthetics, in the issues that concern me. Gender inequality and the church have been pervasive forces in most of my works. This piece is the culmination of a year of work in the intimate realm. Now I move the work into social space. Amidst thousands of vulnerable bodies. I recognize the discomfort and provocation that my body caused at the protest and I feel very satisfied. They were not the only ones feeling uncomfortable. I was too. I was also alone, amidst those who would categorize me as an aberration and deny me my rights. So I find this discomfort just. It was fifty/fifty. Thanks to all of the parishioners who embraced me and prayed for me and with me. They have completed the piece by coating themselves with honey and feathers in their offerings of divine love, in their act of feeling sorry for this poor, lost faggot. My feathers remained scattered throughout the street where the protest took place and fixed in their indoctrinated memory. My prosthetic buttocks and my hairy pussy comprised the empowered devil of a man who is supposed to be within me. I do not represent any group. I am not an atheist, a Christian, or a Satanist. I love diverse people. I’m a Puerto Rican artist who has lived with homophobia: “I have scars of laughter in my back.” Accompanied by my two colleagues (producer Helen Ceballos and video editor Ryan Pérez Hicks), we crossed a sea of people in enraptured in worship for the purpose of making art out of abjection. We were insulted with biblical euphemisms. The camera averted one or two blows and captured the multiple threats. We ended up at the beach, which offers itself fully, cleansing, purifying. Here is the result. Watch with patience and com(passion). Do not try to understand. Do not ask me to explain. I prefer to listen and read what it elicits you to think. This will help me to expand the meaning of the work. It will help me to understand myself. #freeartinpublic #withoutlicenseorID
Thank you. Much love.
Concept and performer: Mickey Negrón
Video and editing: Ryan Pérez Hicks
Production: Hellen Ceballos