On behalf of the new “new kids on the block”*: we are HUNGRY for identities. We do not want them to close in on us. We do not pit them against one another. We control them; they do not control us. When they escape our control, we reign them in with our cameras, our crayons, our presses, our blogs, our pens and pencils, our markers, our clothes, our hair, our tattoos, our looks, our gestures; our accountability to one another is aestheticized and our aesthetics mediate our accountability. We create community in this accountability, not in our common identities, but we need the identities for enacting the accountability. Identities give us our ingredients. We call to one another constantly through what we make the world to look like; what we cook up haphazardly and deliberately on a daily basis. These calls happen in constantly transforming codes; as soon as they become codes they are done away with, or artifactualized, put in recipe books. We splay them out on canvas, in fields, in knit caps, in galleries, on street signs, on fucking everything, entangling them to the point of madness, a madness that colors our world, and a madness that we do together. We are hungry for identities so that we can swallow them, vomit them up, and revel in what comes out. Identity is both precious and trash to us. Precious as memories, as our cherished abuelas y abuelos. Trash as definitions, as borders, as words are becoming less and less useful. Identity gives us tongues so we can bathe each other with soft and hard lashings. Identities fuel us. We need fuel to keep up with ourselves. We revolt against postmodernism and modernism and cultural preservation. But we thank them with a wink for what they gave us as we revolt.
Rebozo [Man]: dispatch from Nepantla
*This follows Alicia Gaspar de Alba’s use of the phrase “new kids on the block” in her book about the CARA Exhibit, Chicano Art Inside / Outside the Master's House, 101. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.
The full essay can be read in México en sus revoluciones: historia, crítica, y poéticas de la emancipacíon y la resistencia en México, eds. Berenice Villagómez, Alejandro Zamora, Esther Raventós-Pons, 45 - 64. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013.