In and Out of Place

Mexico / Performance / Writing

978-1-68003-279-6 Paperback
6 x 8.5 x 0 in
325 pp. 79 color photos
Pub Date: 11/15/2022
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What does it mean to be in a place and out of place at the same time? Gabrielle Civil explores this question by making black feminist performance art in Mexico. She asks unsuspecting Mexicans if they have good hair, visits legendary black expatriate artist Elizabeth Catlett, celebrates Obama’s first election with mariachis, embarks on love affairs, dresses up as a Mexican doll, and christens herself with Negrita rum. Archiving her 2008-2009 Fulbright fellowship project, In and Out of Place combines diary entries, images, performance texts, critical commentary, and current reflections. Civil explores—and expands—the parameters of her own body, artistic process, heritage, and culture. She retraces—and activates—her trajectory as a black woman artist in the world.

from "¿ de donde eres ?"
            where are you from?
            and why are you wearing a sombrero?
            are you trying to go native?
            are you staking a claim?
            are you playing a part or a joke?
            who are you here, black girl?
            who do you think you are?
            what gifts are you bringing?
            what rights do you have?
            who are your people
            and where are they now?
            why is your accent so funny?
            what are you trying to say?
            when did you get here?
            how long will you stay?
            what lines are you drawing?
            what are you rendering?
            what do you recall?

Innovative Prose

Published by Texas Review Press