"Enigmas of birth and death"
(Birthday Cake/ Mausoleum)
I recently found a photo of my fourth birthday party. In the frame I am standing still next to a piñata of Donald Duck. In Venezuelan birthday traditions, you choose your “idol” to be the center of your celebration only to later violently destroy it and collect the candy from within. In the photograph, one can see that Donald and I are the same height. I am also wearing a shirt with his image. I now see the irony of having chosen a duck, the derogatory term – “pato” – for homosexual in my country, as the birthday idol of my childhood. When I saw this photo it allowed me access, not only to this specific memory, but also to its multilayered, symbolic meaning. My body was an extension of my piñata: I had to publicly destroy myself in front of my friends and family.