TEMPO AWASH. AURELIA GUO+P. STAFF+RAQUEL SALAS RIVERA12.05.21.
The Courage to be Rich by AURELIA GUO takes its title from a self-help book. It also diagrammatically collects typographies, font sizes, and underlined statements on personal worth, integrating graphical relations in the semantic system. Guo’s inventory uses an enumerative format —in mathematics: the listing of elements that form a set, an outline or a system— to address the circulation of vital frameworks, subject categorisations, and the biased moral language in relation to class and gender that these books set up. Guo approaches this content through excess, and as the list accumulates weight the linguistic and psychological edifice starts to creak. / P. STAFF works with the idea of planetary dysphoria and a state of undead-ness. The anaglyph’d images of a simulated secondary planet come from a bio-architectural experiment in Arizona: the environment feels both real and imaginary, a strange light bathing the plants inside the greenhouse, multiplied energy and a compressed state of life. In the anaglyph’d poems conditions emerge through movement and moisture. Speed —libidinal, corporeal, astronomical, historical—, shitting, melting, sweating, ejecting. Images and poems have a particular visuality: the anaglyph is hot, glowing, volatile and complicates the temporality of text and image. The recognition and fixation proper to reading are confused with a latent content —not dead, not living, energetic— that presses to emerge and occupy new space beyond the surface. / In A Book of Monsters, RAQUEL SALAS RIVERA’s bestiary, a series of identities, social types, sketches of Puerto Rico, and ongoing colonial pressures are bound together without a closed narrative. The inventory of monsters is marked by non-transferable puertorican words and expressions, gaps and omissions. Blank space is prominent, and the poems are headed with acronyms that don’t give away any names and keep representation open, full of space; gringos, lúgaro en foundation, un fuego que cubrió la laguna... Context unfolds but remains elusive and transient on the space of the page.