Cuando las gallinas mean (When hens pee), 2017 Site-specific Live performance, Performance documentation Walter and McBean gallery, San Francisco
In response to A Living Thing/Mel Ziegler: Flag Exchange, I activated an exchange of physicality with the space, in an act that frames the distressed Puerto Rican body and psyche in relation to the raise of the distressed U.S. flags.
I navigated the space with my body, using it as a site that holds my nation and my tribe, representing the Puerto Rican identity and what upholds to its perplex relation to the United States. I refer to the Puerto Rican saying “Los niños hablan cuando las gallinas mean” (The children speak when hens pee) as a standing point of how young generations are confronted by censorship in early stages of development.
When hens pee explores the possibility of breaking free from imposed restrictions, making the impossible possible. If children were able to speak, what would they say? Would we listen? A generation afraid of speaking will be confronted with self-censorship. If hens were able to pee, how would they walk?
Inspired by Luis Llorens Torre's poem, “A Puerto Rico” (To Puerto Rico) I walk through the gallery, and engage on a 'dance' with the flags, taking into account the restrictions that the body will confront with the space occupied by them. Reflecting on: What life does the United States flag represents for Puerto Rico?
I engaged on a search for words and declaim poetry.
Cuchillos suspenden del techo.
I cross the site.
I walk the lines, me pego al piso.
Barreras que obstruyen mis pasos,
guían mi formato.
de espacio, la línea que marca.
Entre vacío y vacío,
De niña me enseñaron que los niños hablan cuando las gallinas mean. El que erguido camina levanta joroba.
Fotos/ Photos: Jeshua René González Camacho