Sunday, April 24, 2011

La Ley Es Ilegal

The performance, La Ley Es Ilegal, was presented to a small invited audience in the storefront of The Cheap Art Store in March of 1994. It was recorded on video, and documentary photos were taken. The first part consisted of a puppet play using Francois Villon's poem, Le Debat de Villon et Son Cuer, as dialogue. The second part spoke of a recent INS round-up of "illegal aliens" conveniently scheduled at the end of picking season so as not to disrupt the agri-industrial economy. This monologue compared recent immigrants to a living human heart (the strongest muscle in the body) and accused the INS of enacting a grotesque parody of the Aztec Heart Extraction Sacrifice. I then pulled a pig's heart from the inside breast pocket of my jacket, dosed it with alcohol and set it on fire in a porcelain bowl. As the heart burned I danced a simple rhythmic step dance to a cancion Peruana from the mid-sixties that recounted the many deaths of the construction workers who built the Peruvian stretch of the Pan-American Highway. The performance ended with my offering the audience some tea that was said to be good for the heart.

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