La clase de dibujo libre (2000-2004/2017)
Performance. "Below the Underground: Renegade Art and Action in 1990s Mexico."
Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA. November 11, 2017. Duration: 02:30:00.
Playlist: Ganas (Mas Exitos)
Nails: Jeffrey Chavez

From 2000-2004, Ema Villanueva and Eduardo Flores held figure drawing classes with nude models in
public spaces throught Mexico City. The participants were often members of a certain labor union
or of marginalized communities. As Villanueva posed, her male partner led the class while
discussing local politics. Villanueva stated that through this series, she hoped to normalize
female sexuality in Mexico while politically engaging with specific groups of people. These
classes also allowed for a moment of calm and artistic production for those who might not
otherwise have access to it. I was asked to reperform this piece at the Armory Center for the
Arts. Rather than do so exactly, especially because the social, political, and physical contexts
were wildly different, I disrupted the structure of a figure drawing class itself. Instead of
smooth jazz, DJ Ganas created a playlist of old school Chicanx music that played while I modeled
and the audience drew me. Using jewelry, make up, and hair, I marked my body as Chicanx while
embodying poses based on Chicanx and Mexican iconography. Rather than speak actively about
politics, I was silent, allowing the cultural cues to speak for themselves, creating a space of
comfort for those whose histories are often not reflected in institutions similar to the one
in which we found ourselves.

Documentation by Ian Byers-Gamber, Xilomen Rios, and Daniela Leija.

La clase de dibujo libre 1
Coatlicue

La clase de dibujo libre 2
Selena

La clase de dibujo libre 3
Exhivilización/Las perras en celo (Katia Tirado)

La clase de dibujo libre 4
Brown Beret at ease

La clase de dibujo libre 5
Decoy Gang War Victim (ASCO)