Reading: “Our Bodies’ Beautiful Not Being”

[Many thanks to Tess O’Dwyer for bringing this item to our attention.] The Whitney Museum of American Art presents “El bello no ser de nuestros cuerpos / Our Bodies’ Beautiful Not Being: A reading,” which takes place on Sunday, December 4, 2022, at 2:00pm [at The Whitney, 3rd Floor, Susan and John Hess Family Gallery and Theater.]

[This event has reached in-person capacity but will be live streamed on Zoom. A limited number of standby tickets may be available at the admissions desk on a first-come, first-served basis. The standby line will open one hour prior to the program’s start time. Register to attend ONLINE.]

“Nada” (Nothingness)

If from not-being we come and toward not-being we go, nothing between nothing and nothing, zero between zero and zero, and if between nothing and nothing, there can be nothing, let us toast to our bodies’ beautiful not being.

—Julia de Burgos (translation by Raquel Salas Rivera) 

In her poem “Nada,” Julia de Burgos invites us to “toast to our bodies’ beautiful not being” in response to the argument that “life is nothingness.” This reading, curated by poet Raquel Salas Rivera, expands on the title of no existe un mundo poshuracán: Puerto Rican Art in the Wake of Hurricane María by inviting an intergenerational group of poets to address the ways in which Puerto Ricans continuously create from “nothingness,” making a life, a way forward, and even beauty, despite colonialism’s erasure and violence. 

Readers include Giannina Braschi, Rubén Ramos Colón, Nicole Cecilia Delgado, Francisco Félix, Denice Frohman, Joey de Jesús, Yara Liceaga, Roberto Ncar, Urayoán Noel, Mara Pastor, Willie Perdomo, Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro, Verónika Reca, Gaddiel Francisco Ruiz Rivera, Irizelma Robles, Sandra Nia Rodríguez, Edwin Torres, üatibirí, Xavier Valcárcel, and Elizabet Velásquez.

For more information, see

[Image above: Javier Orfón, “Avispas” (Wasps), detail of “Bientevéo” (Iseeyouwell), 2018–22. Inkjet print. Collection of the artist; courtesy Hidrante, San Juan.]

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