Of Mermaids and Murders (a Funeral)
Last Frontier, NYC (2016)
Photos courtesy of: Ian DeLeon
Drawing on the ancient Assyrian myth of the Goddess-turned-Mermaid named Atargatis, 'Of Mermaids and Murders (A Funeral)' is a ritualistic performance art piece intended to commemorate the deaths of the 23 transexual individuals accredited as murdered in 2016 only in the USA on the sole basis of their gender and/or sexual identity. The piece posits an allegoric identity between the figure of the Mermaid and that of transexual individuals due to their positioning as Other through history and culture. Advancing an intersectional and post-feminist reading of the figure of the Mermaid, the performance presents the half human character as a victim of an ongoing Other-ing process that culminates with their murder. The Mermaid is in fact an Alien character whose in-human charm produces both attraction and repulsion and as She cannot be reconciled and incorporated in the patriarchical and heteronormative social hierarchy needs thus to be possessed and eradicated.