Sunday, November 25, 2012
Visa's Visit to Queer Art in LA
This past week our class got a unique wake-up call in our Monday morning class. Performance artist Karen Anzoategui barged into the classroom dressed as one of her characters "Visa", a transgender, Cuban sex-worker with a love for men and women alike. I enjoyed Visa's performance tremendously, although at first I was a bit confused and honestly wondered if Visa had really just wandered into our classroom; (Karen's acting was that good). When Visa began to use comedy and dance to talk about issues that pertain to the Latino community and the U.S. at large, I began to understand the statement she was trying to convey. Visa's performance of femininity and promiscuity made the point that women whom are scantily clad are often not taken seriously in our society. This devaluing of femininity and gender performance is further complicated by Visa's identity as a transgender individual. Visa's "in your face" performance forces the audience to open up wounds and begin the healing process. I can see why Karen's performace could be mistaken as parody but I understood that she was conscious of her message throughout. I hope that with laughter people in the community can begin to talk about our own biases involving gender, femininity and queerness, I would certainly love if Visa helped spark that conversation.