A Manual to Be (to Kill) or To Forgive My Own Father
The Iwasaki Library
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The live performance and installation, A Manual to Be (to Kill) or To Forgive My Own Father, presents Rojas’ deconstructions of the popular novel, Pequeño Hombre, one of many written by his estranged father, who bears his name. In a gesture of rejection and simultaneous creation, Rojas cuts out the texts from the English translation and uses the remnants to create new poems within a domestic setting with a desk, rug, and lamp.
The performances with the texts range from the use of an X-Acto blade in the artist’s mouth to collaborations with the artist’s mother and intimate conversations with viewers. Collectively, they attempt to rewrite the book, with the exact same words, but with a completely different narrative, always centering the dialectic of presence and absence of his own father. Rojas invites viewers who have conflicted relations with their fathers (“daddy issues”) to partake in a one-on-one performance to write poetry with him.