Your work is often quite explicit, openly nude and direct about sexuality. There is a difference in this work, something soft, which also reads as seduction. Why use this mode? What does it achieve for you?
Colonial Peeps reads differently than my previous work because there’s a difference in the type of abjection I am exploring. Whereas most of my previous performance work was based in studies of parodic inhabitation of racialized and sexualized tropes of Latinidad, this works to obstruct a clear transmission of a colonial nude. The viewer is making contact or encountering the unraveling, the breakdown of a (in)coherent subject over and over again. I am trying to lose the boundaries of my subjectivity, even as I open up sites of pleasure.
The image in this video is not, strictly speaking, tripartite, but three figures appear and disappear over its course. What I see immediately is the Catholic symbolism of the triad. Can you speak to this structural decision? Either as a triad of images or about the repetition and difference between them?
The video is comprised of two different performances made for video. One video I disrobe with my body positioning in abject forms; neck protruding forward, eyes rolled back, back hunched. The other video shows me disrobing with in a more seductive way. I experimented with layers and movement of the video; there are actually 4 videos going on at once. The video plays with the idea of colonial contact as never ending, on loop, and the relationships I have to my own body via the significance of this ongoing contact.
The work deals with the relationship between vision and colonialism through a play of obscurity and a slow reveal. I wondered about the final sequence, in which you stand completely revealed to the camera. Why was this final frontal view important to your statement in the video?
The final frontal view is still blurry and duplicate, its unclear. I suppose I am facing the uncomfortable; the place where key insights into what a human, a subject/object, and material life might mean in these repeated encounters. I am trying to trace this difficult mode of existence via video.
Xandra Ibarra with NM Llorens
Xandra Ibarra is an Oakland-based performance artist who performs and sometimes works under the alias of La Chica Boom. Ibarra uses hyperbolized modes of racialization and sexualization to test the boundaries between her own body and coloniality, compulsory whiteness, and Mexicanidad. Her practice integrates performance, sex acts, burlesque with video, photography, and objects. Throughout her multiple works, she teeters between abjection and joy and problematizes the borders between proper and improper racial, gender, and queer subject. www.xandraibarra.com