LATINA DEL NORTE
For the Miami Performance 2012 International Festival, I realized two performative actions entitled “Latina del Norte 1 and 2.” These actions were meant to explore landmarks and stereotypes not only related to the concept of habitat but also to identity. In a city such as Miami, an important center for North American immigration, asylum seekers simply repress issues regarding their country of origin. Many efforts to overcome this repression are deployed, but often in vain, doomed to failure.
“Latina del Norte 1” took place just outside a gallery at Miami Design District, a site where most of the festival’s actions and performances occurred. For this action, I used natural elements such as ice and sand. Over a two-hour period, under intense heat, I scraped six blocks of one-foot-thick ice. I did this for each block, making snow and transforming it into small igloos. These witness objects of my northern culture melted quite rapidly and went adrift. Into each block, a hollow was created that formed a lake as the ice melted. Scraping and grating the ice to try to build a snow, northern house constituted a metaphor of this desire for migration; the intention was there, but without any convenient condition.
Toward the end of the action, I scattered what remained of the ice blocks, then I wrote on the ground with the water from the melted ice, using my hair as a brush. So as to register a connection between diverse identities and their confluences within the Americas, from north to south and vice versa, I wrote the words home, maison, casa, and questions evoking the search for home. This ephemeral inscription poetically echoed the journal of a migrant. The fact that the souvenir faded recalled the precariousness of the migrant’s status. Finally, I poured out sand that I had beforehand collected at the beach and lay down on my stomach, recalling at once the nest and my passage. The action then came to an end.