IMAGES | DESCRIPTION
Performance by Coco Fusco and Nao Bustamante | 1996-1999
This performance was commissioned by The Institute of Contemporary Art, London, Highways Performance Space, Los Angeles, and the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art.
In 1996, we came together to create a performance that dealt with Latin women, food and sex. We decided that tourism was the thread that tied all of our interests together. Though only five percent of the world’s population travels for leisure, the international tourist industry is the second largest employer in today’s global economy, and the most important link to North America for much of South America ’s population.
STUFF is our look at the cultural myths that link Latin women and food to the erotic in the Western popular imagination. We weave our way through multi-lingual sex guides, fast food menus, bawdy border humor, and much more. Our spoof, however, is not without a serious side. Latin American literature is full of references to cannibalism - as the European colonial’s fear of the indigenous “other” as a cannibal, as a trope for Europe and America’s ravaging of Latin America’s resources, and finally, as the symbolic revenge of the colonized who feed off the colonial. If food here serves as a metaphor for sex, then eating represents consumption in its crudest form. Cultural consumption involves the trafficking of that which is most dear to us all - our identities, our myths and our bodies. STUFF is our commentary on how globalization and “cultural tourism” leave Latin women little choice other than to satisfy consumer desires for “a bit of the other. ”