Performance for the This Is What I Want Festival 2015 at CounterPulse Theater in San Francisco, CA.
My Ass on Desire.
by Cristina Victor
IF my ass could speak, what would it say?
Playing with that question was the premise of my piece, ASS CAPITAL: Reflections of a Contemporary Culo produced and performed for the This Is What I Want Festival held at CounterPulse Theater in May 2015. The piece was framed as a faux Tedtalk about ass by my ass. You read that right. The ingredients: a clean stage; projected handmade images that supplemented a carefully scripted voiceover; my full body in a gray zentai costume altered to only expose my glittered ass, which was framed with an embellished sequin trim.
Before this, I honestly had never considered what desire meant to me nor was I ever provoked to make work about it specifically. After four years of producing performance work that aimed to question how Latin@ identity is framed, specifically the contradictions within mine, I took the invitation to participate in this event as an opportunity for my body and my many selves to vent. The timing could not be better. My ass was ready to unload...in Spanglish, of course.
I workshopped my piece for about six months with the Storytellers, a diverse collective of contributors to the TIWIW Festival. Access to this sex positive family allowed for a safe, vulnerable, confessional space where rich and sometimes difficult discussions on the consistent theme of the festival were encouraged. The exchange helped me shape my performance within the greater context of my work thus far. A few delicious contradictions surfaced and resonated within me as I developed my piece.
Though desire is often rooted in absence or a longing for what is not available—yet still imaginable—, in our conversations, it was consistently described as felt in the body. The body signaled wanting, for everyone. So, what did I want? How had I and did I experience wanting with and in my body? Here I had the privilege of answering this on stage for a community ready and waiting to hear it.
The contested site of my wanting and my being wanted was a no brainer.
To read more go to:
Culturebot Interview with Crystal am Nelson: