Xochi de la Luna
2019/20 Emerging Curators Institute Fellow.
What does horror mean to you?
Personally, I think horror is a multifaceted enigma because depending on where I’m at in life, what is weighing on my heart and mind, and where I’m living. It is ever changing. A lot of the time it is the unknown. Most immediately, horror to me is the oppressive seasonal depression that has onset a lot sooner than usual and only augmented the depression I feel year-round. Horror is the overwhelming feeling that there will never be a way out of the underground maze of life-ruining debt this capitalistic society shovels onto our path, forcing detour after detour on our way out towards a light that may not exist. Horror is the possibility that this government will revoke my permanent residency out of nowhere, ICE will swoop me off the street, and my friends and family will never hear from me again because they just can’t seem to figure out where any trace of me went. Horror is the possibility that a pack of boys will knock me off my bike and accident or not, end my life because they were disgusted that I exist as a gender non-conforming being.
These concepts exist in thrillers, dramas, and sometimes horror stories to an extent, and it all really depends on perspective if they are seen as horror. Still, horror to me also encompasses what countless stories, movies and television shows have shown time and time again. Evil cults, serial killers, supernatural creatures, aliens, the undead, demons, being trapped alone, and other unexplained situations.And that’s the wonder of the horror genre for me. It is limitless, and it all depends on your deepest darkest fears. For some, life itself is horror. Fortunately horror doesn’t pervade my every day, for now.
What are you most excited about for the production of your Emerging Curators Institute project, the Twin Cities first BIPOC Horror Festival?
What I’m most excited about is providing a space where black, brown and indigenous folks can feel they can adequately share their horror stories. Whether that be campy retellings of classics in a new perspective, new tales of undead apocalypses, or psychological horror stories. It will be incredible to see them come to life, in a collaboratively developed installation that will ultimately add the finishing ambiance and backdrop to these stories.
How has the fellowship impacted your practice?
The Emerging Curators Fellowship has connected me with curators from all over North America of differing practices, networks, and identities. It is shaping my understanding of my own curational past, affirming what is working, and allowing me to adapt what is not. I am grateful for all the resources at my hands to draw from when I am feeling at a loss in my own practice.
What advice do you have for emerging curators, performers, artists, or creatives?
Some advice I have for emerging curators, performers, artists and other creatives is this, take your time on creating and devising and take breaks when needed. It’s okay to work on a piece for a year, two or 10. Or perhaps it’s 10 pieces that are all interconnected? Either way, follow your own pace, you’ll know if it feels right. This society pushes a scarcity mentality, my belief is that happens to pit us against each other. Scarcity mentality doesn’t allow us to see the abundance of opportunities that come our way if we focus on providing work, that is true to ourselves.
Which leads me to my second tip, support your fellow artists and curators. Show up to each others shows, donate to each others causes when you can, promote each others shows. It all helps with building a community, and maintaining the health of it. Plus, you might learn something from seeing other shows, especially of disciplines that you are not as versed in. Collaborate, co-curates shows with other curators, create hybrid pieces with other artists of differing disciplines. You will most likely learn more about your own practice through others, and their work might inspire something in you that you might have never found without exploring in this way.
When it comes to communal spaces, institutions, or programs, what would you like to see more of in Minneapolis?
In an ideal world, what I would like to see more in Minneapolis is larger institutions supporting and using their resources to empower the smaller organizations, communal spaces and programs that help guide the artists they eventually end up using. It would also be great if the city of Minneapolis realized that their artistic scene very much deserves funding for low-cost rehearsal spaces, and more grants and scholarships for artists who are trying to engage community.