GIVE US GODDESS WOMB
EDGAR FABIAN FRIAS
I performed nine spells for/with water overlooking the Pacific Ocean, inside an abandoned gun artillery turned amphitheater at Angel’s Gate Cultural Center (AGCC). This project was in collaboration with the radio station KCHUNG and was a part of the first Current:LA Public Art Biennial, which encompassed all of Los Angeles and focused on water.
AGCC is situated near the Port of Los Angeles, which is located in the city of San Pedro, California. As this is such an economically important area, it, unsurprisingly, has had a long history of colonization and occupation by both corporate entities and the military industrial complex. The Tongva, who previously inhabited the area, saw the land as a sacred place for healing work and built sweat lodges and ceremonial sites on the land. The artillery zone I performed in has a dark history—one of death and destruction. It is also situated near these aforementioned sites of healing and connection. Currently, the land is being used as a community art center with galleries and artist studios. Curator Martabel Wasserman has a passion for creating work that questions or critiques notions of capitalism, cisheteropatriarchal structures, and colonialist modes of exchange, seeing the land as being at the intersection of many of these complex and frayed histories.
My performance had a duration of about 45 minutes, with each spell taking between two to six minutes each to complete. The first spell was a guided meditation, meant to anchor the group (of about 50) witnessing the performance into the earth. I invoked the four sacred directions and called in the Goddess of Love. The fourth spell consisted of me embodying voices I had previously channeled from nearby anxiety-filled dimensions, where water is a scarce and violently controlled resource. The sixth spell consisted of me prostrating myself in front of the group and blessing myself with water, as a way of submitting to the land, to our ancestors, and to the process that is emerging between us.
The last spell was an original musical score titled “Leave the Cystem, Choose Life,” meant to act as an intention and a seedling-spell, for the land at AGCC. As a Wixarika, Latinx, queer, brujx, descendent, I see it as my responsibility to carry on the legacy of my peoples. To resist forces of colonization and mechanization openly. To bring in the Sacred Feminine where the land has been ravaged by toxic hypermasculine energy.