Pica | PAULA GAETANO ADI
Pica

Performance (2008/in-progress)
Indefinite duration

 

Pica: a behavior beyond accepted cultural traditions, consisting of constant (i.e. for more thatn one month) ingestion of inedible substances, which are inappropriate for that developmental stage or age (American Psychiatric Association, 1994 DMS IV).

Every day I sit down in front of my English/Spanish dictionary and -in alphabetical order- I pick up a word; I cut the English portion and I eat it.  pica is an ongoing performance of indefinite duration that I started in 2009 a few weeks after arriving to the US ss an attempt to embody a non-native language.

Thus, in a very intimate gesture, through a repetition of acts in time, I have decided to remove the disembodied power of having to speak a foreign and “artificial” language by eating one word a day. But also, by digesting English words, I also try to digest the simple implications of being a Hispanic speaker in the US, and therefore follow Oswald de Andrade’s “Manifesto Antropófago”, in which he states that the best way to absorb the disparate, uneven, chaotic, and voluptuous reality of another culture is not to imitate or resist it but to eagerly absorb, to eat, it: swallow it whole.