The source of this performance is a recording of ESL speakers singing karaoke. A cover of “Words” by the Beegees is repeated three times. First the song is played over headphones, silent to the audience, then it is lip-synced as a karaoke version plays over speakers. Finally a translation in Spanish is sung a cappella. Performed at a time when immigrants in the United States are and were being threatened with deportation through ICE raids and challenges to DACA, phonetically learning a foreign language is a strategy used also in previous work as a means to empathetically embody one aspect of immigrant experience. Eye covering was in tribute to a performance piece by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha.
Photo documentation by Scott Little, Yvonne Chew (2), and Maria Wallstam, respectively.