Melodías que Comparten el Aliento/Melodies of Shared Breath, 2021

Collaborative performance between Jackie Amézquita and LaRissa Rogers.
Performed at The Fronte Arte Cultura in San Ysidro. Soil from VA and Mexico/US border, celosia // 1hr 15 min // 2021.
Photos taken by Alan Luna.

Melodías que Comparten el Mismo Aliento/ Melodies of Shared Breath 2021 was an unannounced collaborative performance between LaRissa Rogers and Jackie Amézquita, activating Rogers’s work A Poetic of Living, installed at San Ysidro, California, a border town with Tijuana Mexico. The installation was made of Rogers casted bodies with Virginia soil and soil from the Mexico/US border. The celosia that lined the far right edge of the installation created a symbolic border in the direction of Mexico.
The performance began at sunset, as they undressed and washed their bodies and each other with soil. Amézquita was positioned south towards the border, while Roger’s body faced north in the direction of the US. As they bathed, their inward-facing arms were connected and used as supports to lift each other’s bodies into a seated position to wash each other’s backs. Once cleansed, celosia, a plant native to East Africa and smuggled in women’s hair during the middle passage, was offered to Amézquita. The artist then planted the celosia back into the soil and buried Rogers among the rest of the soil bodies—Amézquita outlined Rogers’s body with Celocia. Roger’s stayed buried in the ground for the opening reception.