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Using Humor, Two Artists Suggest We Can Change the Present (Not Just the Future)

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CUE Camilo Godoy En Vivo y En Directo Study
Camilo Godoy, “En Vivo y En Directo (Study # 1),” (2018), archival inkjet print, 10.5 x 13 inches (image courtesy Camilo Godoy)

Twenty-five years ago, Selena’s fifth studio album, “Dreaming of You,” became the first by a Latinx artist to top the Billboard 200 chart. Released just a few months after she was tragically murdered, the album would cement Selena’s status as the Queen of Tejano. Hits like “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom,” “Amor Prohibido,” “Como La Flor,” and the titular “Dreaming of You” would go on to become a soundtrack for Latinx and non-Latinx kids growing up across the Americas, proving to the mainstream music industry that whether sung in Spanish or English, a bop was a bop.

Enter artists Arisleyda Dilone and Camilo Godoy, whose forthcoming performance I just wanna hold (2020) draws upon the aspirational sentiments of Selena’s dreamy title track to explore themes of self-love, longing, and desire. Incorporating satire, singing, and Latinx telenovela scripts, the New York-based artists will craft a humorous, participatory performance that interrogates the fantasy that individual needs can only be met in the future, rather than in the present. Equally significant elements will include considerations of queer affect, the psychology of the home, and what it means to betray one’s own upbringing.

This BodyToo Still from the beach
From This Body, Too dir. Arisleyda Dilone (currently in post-production) (image courtesy Arisleyda Dilone, photo by Katia Repina)

Born in the Dominican Republic and Colombia, respectively, Dilone and Godoy each make work rooted in simple gestures. A filmmaker, actor, and translator, Dilone makes documentary films that capture thorny conversations about family, femininity, Dominican culture, and her intersex identity via a straightforward, observatory style, while Godoy — an artist and educator — utilizes performance and the strategies of mainstream media to pick apart historical events and political issues.

I just wanna hold is presented as part of CUE Art Foundation’s ongoing series Lull, lulla, lullen, which focuses on collaborative performances inspired by lullabies and their dual roles as songs that soothe and pass down cultural knowledge. The series will also include performances by Kite, an Oglala Lakota performance and visual artist whose work draws upon contemporary Lakota epistemologies (July 8, with Corey Stover), and Morgan Bassichis, a performance artist and activist who uses sharp, politically laced humor to explore the everyday (date TBA, with DonChristian Jones).

When: June 25, 8–9pm EDT
Where: Online, via CUE Art Foundation

Note: This event is free with a suggested donation to G.L.I.T.S., Inc., an organization that supports and rehouses Black trans people after incarceration. See CUE Foundation for more details.


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