Argues that Ricanness operates as a continual performance of bodily endurance against US colonialism
In 1954, Dolores “Lolita” Lebrón and other members of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party led a revolutionary action on the chambers of Congress, firing several shots at the ceiling and calling for the independence of the island. Ricanness: Enduring Time in Anticolonial Performance begins with Lebrón’s vanguard act, distilling the relationship between Puerto Rican subjectivity, gender, sexuality, and revolutionary performance under colonial time.
Ruiz argues that Ricanness—a continual performance of bodily endurance against US colonialism through different measures of time—uncovers what’s at stake politically for the often unwanted, anticolonial, racialized and sexualized enduring body. Moving among theatre, experimental video, revolutionary protest, photography, poetry, and durational performance art, Ricanness stages scenes in which the philosophical, social, and psychic come together at the site of aesthetics, against the colonization of time. Analyzing the work of artists and revolutionaries like ADÁL, Lebrón, Papo Colo, Pedro Pietri, and Ryan Rivera, Ricanness imagines a Rican future through the time travel extended in their aesthetic interventions, illustrating how they have reformulated time itself through nonlinear aesthetic practices.
"Ricanness accomplishes a sustained dislocation of the hierarchies of the senses. It is an ontology of life and death, mixed with lipstick, champagne, sweat, vulgarity, and survival. It is a poetics of time and temporality. This poetics is worked out phenomenologically, aesthetically, and politically through the uncompromising stance Ruiz takes toward the violent history echoing across the unbroken Rican spirit."
"Ruiz’s relentless pressure on how fields of knowledge depend upon spatial containment eviscerates the collusion between epistemology and place. Her dazzling intellectualism models the necessarily daring edges one must seek out in discussions about aesthetics and politics. This beautifully written book encourages the demands of nonlinear thinking, the challenging pleasures of scholarship, and offers a more expansive sense of what activism can be. Ricanness is erudition for the people."