Heridas Esteticas

“My tattoos are like heridas esteticas,
countries in my biographical map,
Scripted words as opposed to my scars,
which are like unscripted sentences
in the open book of my body,” 1

Guillermo Gomez-Peña

This performance is a collaboration between myself and 30 tattoo artists from Mexico, US, and Canada.  This performance explores the limits of the body as a site of trauma,  tattoos as aesthetic wounds, and the definition of aesthetics from different national perspectives. The tattoo artists were asked to create tattoos with the text “ heridas esteticas” and  “aesthetic wounds” using the font that they believe to be the most aesthetic one. The 11 cm scars were used as guidelines to write on my bod.

 The performance will be done twice, once in Chicago, and once in Mexico City. In Chicago the text will be “heridas esteticas,” in Mexico, “aesthetic wounds,” as a metaphor of the displacement of language in migration. During the performance people choose by voting which tattoo gets permanently inked in my body. An energy and Yorùbá healer tries to heal the wound as its being done by the needle of the tattoo artist. During the selection process,  previous tattoos are retouched by the tattoo artist.