Sometimes You Just Walk Right Into Heaven



Tonight I saw a woman become a bird, become a terrible mistress, become a monster, become an angel, in seconds. 


I’ve never seen such a thing in my entire life.

You want to discuss the relationship between art and politics? Well, Yuyachani can do this for you.

This is one of those times in my life when I don’t think me speaking would do any good. I’ve even lost my grammar.

Let’s start from the beginning.

Diana Taylor:

“First, to recall, recount or reactivate a scenario we need to conjure up the physical location…Second, in scenarios, viewers need to deal with the embodiment of the social actors…Third, scenarios, by encapsulating both the setup and the action/behaviors, are formulaic structures that predispose certain outcomes and yet allow for reversal, parody, and change…Fourth, the transmission of a scenario reflects the multifaceted systems at work in the scenario itself: in passing it on, we can draw from various modes that come from the archive and/or the repertoire-writing, telling, reenactment, mime, gestus, dance, singing…Fifth, the scenario forces us to situate ourselves in a relationship to it, as participants, spectators, or witnesses, we need to ‘be there,’ part of the act of transfer…Sixth, a scenario is not necessarily, or even primarily, memetic.”

When I was at the 10th annual Lima Pride parade, I spoke with a friend and activist, who turned to me when I spoke of performance, and mentioned that we are performing all the time, right now, he said, we are performing right now. A man ran in front of me with ear-buds blasing from his ipod, in front of the whole parade in an orange American Indian inspired suit, chest and slightly pudgy belly exposed to the fine rain. He jumped up and down and led thousands of people, some of whom waved giant rainbow flags in front of the Palace of Justice, some of whom wore Carnival costumes and danced to full brass bands, some of whom ran through the streets in an enormous cardboard bus, some held hands and simply walked through the empty street.

A car tried to drive through. An angry, 5 foot drummer girl banged all over it (in time with her drummer companions) and chastised the driver furiously.

I have never been so Proud.

Performance is a reclamation, it is intentional utilization of one’s body and social gestures in order to create a transient living entity that has the power to transmit memory. We can transmit this memory as a narrative. We like to transmit this memory as a narrative.  At least in the United States and other Western Countries. But why only narrative?

Fact is, although we like to make narratives from it, our lives are not narrative. They don’t make sense.

At all.

Because if you start piecing something together it will necessarily need to take everything connected to it with it.

Let’s pause here.  Is everyone good with what I’m writing? Do we understand? Do I?

That has become my favorite sentence to hear lately-“¿Me entiende?” (Do you understand me?)

¿Me entienden? ¿Me entiendo? ¿Me importa? No.

I like this Diana Taylor Scenario Idea.  Why?

Well, for one thing I saw it in action tonight.

“Sin Titulo: Tecnica Mixta” was not a narrative work. It was…

It was.

I walked into a room which was covered in information, statistics, a museum of Peruvian history, while the actors stood waiting while we looked, while we read, while I read one passage over and over before realizing that Peru had a program which sterilized 300,000 women without their consent, and then they spoke, and they held medels, and they sang songs, and a flag was raised, and powder flew everywhere, and a man smoked a cigarette as Abimael Guzman while he danced to Zorba the Great on top of Jesus Christ in a fish tank, and the Virgen appeared and held her son, without moving a muscle in her face, and Alberto Fujimori was wheeled around the room, and he pointed right at me, then he slid the same finger across his throat, and an enormous statue with an enormous hand came to life, and a judge performed magic tricks and hurled money into the air, and a woman searched desperately in a bag, and I was shoved around and around and around, and became more and more and more…

Became more.

Life can’t be a narrative. While politics can be reduced to narrative for their discussion, ultimately, they are not either.

Augusto Boal:

“…the arts and sciences correct nature in all its faults, and at the same time are interrelated under the domain of a sovereign art which deals with all men, with all they do, and all that is done for them: Politics.







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2 Responses to Sometimes You Just Walk Right Into Heaven

  1. Anonymous says:

    And yet the reason we choose this narrative in the first place is because we lack the means to say ourselves any other way. Our language is limited in it’s linearity. Teach us to speak with all of our convoluted parts, so when we convey the story of our lives to another we aren’t forced to fragment ourselves to fit the confines of spoken or written word.

    I guess I’m asking for you to show us Yuyachani’s way.

  2. Luana Cote' says:

    Its funny to me that we created language and narrative to express most deeply what we are feeling, when really, though incredibly useful, it has just made things rather difficult and often confusing. And even still that we subconsciously giving off and picking up on non-verbal cues while interacting with one another, and all of the information we get from non-verbal communication. We should be learning how to physically express ourselves, to emphasize our words with not only our tone but our limbs and bones and physical essence. If anyone could show the world this, it would definitely be you, my friend.

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