Nestor Armando Gil performs 'embrión' in the Williams Center Lobby as part of Passing Bittersweet

Taller Workshop/Nestor Armando Gil, embrión, 2020, performance

When you make a meal, do you see the way your skin becomes the skin of what you are peeling? Carrot fingers, beet-red palms, translated, everything in turn informed, in time turns into you. I know there is fear. I know there is no fear enough to justify retreating from love, or from the sweet seduction of love’s precipice, where every step risks everything and offers even more. So, swing one leg out, bend the other knee, and let that dangling foot taste freedom. As you look out at nothing and as you look down at nothing, you anchor yourself to the edge. And you know: You stood there, at the edge (that’s very brave). An eagle perched upon a branch. A pigeon strutting on a ledge.

I found some orange peel embedded in my fingernail from last night’s slicing, cut myself, the juice burned. But now the smell of citrus on my fingertips reminds me of a home I wandered away from, wondering where home was. My mother, turtle, carries her home on her back. It sounds romantic, but it weighs (oh, it weighs). I think about her struggle when I am feeling mine. It gets easier with time, or so she says. And that it feels a little lighter when she prays. And what she wouldn’t give, or do, to take all of mine and carry that weight, too.

Text by Taller Workshop/Nestor Armando Gil

Part of Passing Bittersweet, a 2020 exhibition at the Williams Center Gallery. Find more of Nestor Armando Gil’s work on his website.