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.





palabras at Vancouver Art Gallery

palabras at Vancouver Art Gallery

palabras at Vancouver Art Gallery

palabras at Vancouver Art Gallery