This presentation explores the creative vision of Xandra Ibarra’s mobile community performance, ‘The Hookup/Displacement/Barhopping/Drama Tour’, to think about urban queer spaces, minoritarian belonging, and trans-temporal world-making. Winner of the 2018 Queer | Art | Prize, Chicana artist Ibarra’s piece consists of a pop-up walking tour in which she invites community members to join her in revisiting queer Latinx and lesbian historic sites lost to gentrification in San Francisco’s Mission District. As participants move from one location to the next, we are invited to not only remember, but also re-enact the vibrant barhopping scenes of the queer and trans immigrant communities that used to dominate the neighborhood before the tech boom of the 1990s. The piece also includes a series of material artifacts crafted by Ibarra that mimic, distort, and ridicule the language of the state through multiple over-lapping registers of Spanish, English, and queer linguistic word play that challenge the state’s authority over public space. Set against the sanitizing project of San Francisco’s tech-based gentrification efforts, this talk thinks about how this embodied mobile performance functions as the refusal of racialized queer erasure. It draws on José Esteban Muñoz’s ideas of ‘feeling brown’ and Elizabeth Freeman’s formulation of ‘erotohistoriography’ to explore how accumulated intergenerational desires for public expressions of queer racialized grief, inter-generational touch, and collective outrage play out against the walls of a haunted urban landscape.
Juana María Rodríguez is professor of ethnic studies and core faculty in performance studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on racialized sexuality and gender; queer of color theory and activism; affect and aesthetics; technology and media arts; law and critical race theory; and Latinx and Caribbean literatures and cultures. She is the author of two books, Queer Latinidad: Identity Practices, Discursive Spaces(2003) and Sexual Futures, Queer Gestures, and Other Latina Longings(2014). Her work has been featured in Aperture; on NPR’s Latino USA, NBC.com, Canadian News Network, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Cosmopolitan for Latinas. She is currently working on a book on visual culture and Latina sexual labor and co-editing a special issue of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterlyon ‘Trans Studies en las Americas’.
Nguyen Tan Hoang is associate professor of literature and cultural studies at the University of California, San Diego. His research interests include Asian American visual culture, Southeast Asian cinema, queer cinema, experimental film, race and pornography. His experimental videos have been screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Getty Center in Los Angeles, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. He has programmed film, video, and performance for MIX NYC: New York Queer Experimental Film Festival and the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Cinema & Media Studies. He is the author of A View from the Bottom: Asian American Masculinity and Sexual Representation (Duke 2014).
Juana María Rodríguez (UC Berkeley)
Response by Hoang Tan Nguyen (UC San Diego)
Anja Sunhyun Michaelsen and Michelle Ty
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© image credit by Robbie Sweeney