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CounterCurrent – Jennif(f)er Tamayo: LA QUEERADORA
It asks: How do material bodies, whose lives hold an archive of cultural knowledge and experience, compete with a manufactured and digitally porous production of identity? In Tamayo’s work, the racial project of U.S. Latinidad, as an often capitalist and anti-Black enterprise, becomes an optic through which these questions can be approached. The “Latin-Explosion” of the artist’s childhood and its subsequent productions are, in many ways, imbricated with the rise of mainstream internet culture. Both began to “enter” households during the 80s and 90s. Dora the Explorer (DTE), then, serves as a critical site of inquiry through which the artist interrogates the ways constructions of Latinidad are indebted to and shaped by novel digital technologies. Dora’s physical construction, emerging from an initial design to be a ‘live-action’ character, is imbued with a digital materiality key to her production of Latinidad: fluid, placeless, and amorphous.
Jennif(f)er Tamayo(JT) (Sacramento, CA) is a queer, migrant, formerly undocumented poet, essayist, and performer. JT is the daughter of Nancy, Flora, Leonor, Sol, and Ana. Her poetry collections include [Red Missed Aches] (Switchback, 2011) selected by Cathy Park Hong for the Gatewood Prize (2010), Poems are the Only Real Bodies (Bloof Books, 2013), YOU DA ONE (2017 reprint Noemi Books and Letras Latinas’s Akrilica Series) and most recently, to kill the future in the present (Green Lantern Press, 2018). Her work has been published in Poetry magazine, Hyperallergic, Contemptorary and she has staged performances at La MaMa, The Museum of Modern Art, The Wattis Institute and The Brooklyn Museum. She holds fellowships from the Hemispheric Institute for Performance & Politics and CantoMundo. Currently, JT lives and works on Ohlone and Patwin lands and is a Ph.D.student in the department of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies at UC Berkeley; you can find her writing and art at jennifertamayo.com.
JT’s residency is hosted in conjunction with the Latino Art Now! 2019 National Conference on Latino Art.