1. Here, I recycle a phrase that Fredric Jameson takes from architecture to consider global regions "in tension with the standardizing world system as a whole […] Such areas are not so much characterized by the emergence of strong collective identities as they are by their relative distance from the full force of global modernization, a distance that provided a shelter or an eco-niche in which regional traditions could still develop" (1994: 192). Because I am not so sure about Mexico's "distance" post-NAFTA, I use the phrase in terms of it being a contemporary "foundational fiction," a "strategic essentialism" mobilized in the performances I examine as "a kind of postmodernism of the global system as a whole" (ibid.: 194).
2. There are notable exceptions to this; for a clear tracing of "refutation," see the recent article "Gender, Sexuality, and Nation in the Art of Mexican Social Movements" (2002) by Edward J. McCaughan.
3. Standing in as some original Manichean subject, Woman likewise oscillated/oscillates between the spectacles of the Virgin of Guadalupe and la Malinche in the context of Mexico and beyond.
4. For more on this performance and others by PGN, see Mayer's recent "memoir" Rosa chillante: mujeres y performance en México (2004). Mayer clarifies that Polvo de Gallina Negra's appellation references a black powder sold in Mexican markets meant to thwart the actions of the evil eye, writing, "we knew that in this world it is difficult to be an artist and riskier yet to be a female artist so we decided to protect ourselves with a name that would act as a talisman" (my translation, 2004: 38). Mayer recalls PGN's objectives: "(1) to analyze the image of Woman in art and the media of communication, (2) to study and promote the participation of women in art, and (3) to create images from the departure point of the experience of women in the patriarchal system, based in a feminist perspective and with the goal of transforming the visual world and thereby altering reality" (ibid.).
5. Keep in mind that Mayer studied and collaborated with Suzanne Lacey on/in the Women's House.
6. Don't worry, I won't let myself get away with superfluous kvetching, finger-pointing. It's too facile to dismiss U.S.-based "classificatory systems" which would forefront a cabaret tradition as "Mexican performance," as instances of "academic colonialism/imperialism." Instead, it seems more interesting to begin a dialogue between prevailing Mexican and U.S. definitions of what constitutes "performance" (an idea which was seconded by Guillermo Gómez-Peña in an interview I conducted with him [2001], and by Jesusa Rodríguez, when I asked her if she thought her work counted as performance" and she laughed and said, "for NYU." She did, however, at least pretend to agree with me that her wedding more closely approximated performance art, that is, after we spent some time discussing J. L. Austin, i.e., after she quizzed me at length regarding How To Do Things With Words [2001]).