La Picadura del Contacto (2023)

The Sting of Contact
durational reading performance
Project Space Festival Juarez
Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
14th October 2023

Performers: Jissel Chavez, Hugo Martínez Montoya, Diego Martínez Ochoa

El Picaduro del Contacto (2023)

El Picadura del Contacto is a durational reading performance of Octavia Butler’s Xenogensis I – Dawn (1987). Spanning 3 ½ hours, three performers transform a reading table into an altar while concurrently executing cleansing and cleaning labors within an unoccupied residence. The audience moves through different sections and stages of living spaces. The novel is unfolding continuously in segmented readings interspersed with breaks.
Butler’s novel delves into questions of consent, colonization, and the coercive conditions of loving and fostering kin. Several survivors of a global war are picked up and “raised” by a group of aliens orbiting Earth. At the heart of the narrative is the complicated investment in Christian faith from a speculative, Black-American, feminist perspective, harnessing both rituals of subjection and promises of liberation. Through an alien lens, human nature is described as a fatal contradiction of intelligence and its propensity to authority. To acquire post-catastrophic survivance, new relations in alien encounters must be fostered, the sting of the contact must be endured.

Cover of Amanecer by Octavia E. Butler. Amanecer - Xenogénesis 1, published October 1989 by Ultramar