• Video Still, 2016.

    Scheherazade
    is an autobiographical and performative meditation on being an artist, and on the intergenerational transmission of cultural history in the construction of identity. Affirming the presence of the body of the ‘Other,’ my son’s heartbeats in utero join my mother’s last breaths.

    Shortly before I left El Salvador, I was asked to dance Scheherazade by the artist Julio Sequeira. At the time, I had no idea of Scheherazade’s bravery or incredible imagination. I could only focus on the sensual and erotic undertones that Rimsky Korsakov’s music conjured with its languid violin and tantalizing bells. I felt suffocated by the orientalist gaze. And I could not do the dance. 

    In 2006, a few years after my father’s passing, I was reminded of my teenage Scheherazade and decided to play Scheherazade on my own terms. Like the mythic Scheherazade, telling stories would ensure my survival, set me free. But the video felt unfinished. This year, three years after my mother’s death, I am (per)forming it again, reflecting on the translations, the contradictions, the passage of time.
    Scheherazade or (Per)forming the Archive
    600,335
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  • Scheherazade or (Per)forming the Archive and ARTE VOZ in The Looking Glass: Artist Immigrants of Washington, Alper Initiative of Washington Art, American University Museum, Katzen Arts Center, 2016.

    Scheherazade is an autobiographical and performative meditation on being an artist, and on the intergenerational transmission of cultural history in the construction of identity. Affirming the presence of the body of the ‘Other,’ my son’s heartbeats in utero join my mother’s last breaths. 

    Shortly before I left El Salvador, I was asked to dance Scheherazade by the artist Julio Sequeira. At the time, I had no idea of Scheherazade’s bravery or incredible imagination. I could only focus on the sensual and erotic undertones that Rimsky Korsakov’s music conjured with its languid violin and tantalizing bells. I felt suffocated by the orientalist gaze. And I could not do the dance.

    In 2006, a few years after my father’s passing, I was reminded of my teenage Scheherazade and decided to play Scheherazade on my own terms. Like the mythic Scheherazade, telling stories would ensure my survival, set me free. But the video felt unfinished. This year, three years after my mother’s death, I am (per)forming it again, reflecting on the translations, the contradictions, the passage of time.

    Scheherazade or (Per)forming the Archive premiered as an installation at the American University Museum in Washington, D.C. and at the Cultural Center of Spain in San Salvador this past June. The installation brought together Julio Sequeira’s painting Hombre Cósmico, the video Scheherazade and ARTE VOZ, a transnational sound booth that creates a site for the exchange of stories and heartbeats elicited by the art of Central America.

    Scheherazade is not a legend or a fairy tale, yet it affirms the power of cultural and personal narratives in the construction of identity. The fabric of our society—
here and there, wherever there might be—is made of countless individual stories like mine, which in Walter Mignolo’s words, are “ingrained in the body and in local histories.” When spoken outloud and woven together, these stories show the complexity of history and identity and can become ours—heartbeats difficult to ignore—reverberating in the territory of our collective home.

    Scheherazade or (Per)forming the Archive, “The Looking Glass"
    1440,960
    Not For Sale
  • Scheherazade or (Per)forming the Archive and ARTE VOZ in The Looking Glass: Artist Immigrants of Washington, Alper Initiative of Washington ArtAmerican University Museum, Katzen Arts Center, 2016.

    Scheherazade is an autobiographical and performative meditation on being an artist, and on the intergenerational transmission of cultural history in the construction of identity. Affirming the presence of the body of the ‘Other,’ my son’s heartbeats in utero join my mother’s last breaths. 

    Shortly before I left El Salvador, I was asked to dance Scheherazade by the artist Julio Sequeira. At the time, I had no idea of Scheherazade’s bravery or incredible imagination. I could only focus on the sensual and erotic undertones that Rimsky Korsakov’s music conjured with its languid violin and tantalizing bells. I felt suffocated by the orientalist gaze. And I could not do the dance.

    In 2006, a few years after my father’s passing, I was reminded of my teenage Scheherazade and decided to play Scheherazade on my own terms. Like the mythic Scheherazade, telling stories would ensure my survival, set me free. But the video felt unfinished. This year, three years after my mother’s death, I am (per)forming it again, reflecting on the translations, the contradictions, the passage of time.

    Scheherazade or (Per)forming the Archive premiered as an installation at the American University Museum in Washington, D.C. and at the Cultural Center of Spain in San Salvador this past June. The installation brought together Julio Sequeira’s painting Hombre Cósmico, the video Scheherazade and ARTE VOZ, a transnational sound booth that creates a site for the exchange of stories and heartbeats elicited by the art of Central America.

    Scheherazade is not a legend or a fairy tale, yet it affirms the power of cultural and personal narratives in the construction of identity. The fabric of our society—
here and there, wherever there might be—is made of countless individual stories like mine, which in Walter Mignolo’s words, are “ingrained in the body and in local histories.” When spoken outloud and woven together, these stories show the complexity of history and identity and can become ours—heartbeats difficult to ignore—reverberating in the territory of our collective home.

    Scheherazade or (Per)forming the Archive, “The Looking Glass"
    1200,800
    Not For Sale
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