Abstract

Abstract:

With the 1981 publication of their now-canonical anthology This Bridge Called My Back, Gloria Anzaldúa and Cherríe Moraga placed radical women of color center stage to share their experiences of “bridging” communities divided by race, nation, sexuality, gender, and class in testimonio, critical theory, interviews, poetry, and visual art. Almost forty years later, despite the current popularity of Kimberlé Crenshaw’s intersectional feminism, feminists of color continue to bear the weight of bridgework in academia, politics, and the arts. In this essay, Pabón-Colón centers queer Korean American performance artist Diana Oh’s “solo” performance at the Ancram Opera House to examine what staging bridgework does in a performance space occupied by communities situated differently in relation to power, privilege, and oppression. Throughout Oh’s two-hour performance, their wireless headset microphone fell off of their face over a dozen times. Every time the weight of the headset exceeded the tape’s capacity to hold on a sweaty cheek, her “Love Doctors” would retape the headset, and Oh would carry on, inviting us to “hold” her “while we’re together” because now “is all we got.” The determination, patience, and acceptance Oh embodied in managing their unruly headset are read by Pabón-Colón as a testament to the enduring necessity of collective bridgework in building coalitions, even if, and especially when, they do not hold. Pabón-Colón argues that Oh’s performance staged a queer feminist of color future in the now by performing bridgework methodologically determined by care work, agency, and critique grounded in mindful presence.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1536-0334
Print ISSN
0160-9009
Pages
pp. 29-55
Launched on MUSE
2021-02-05
Open Access
No
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