The Brooklyn Rail

JUL-AUG 2022

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JUL-AUG 2022 Issue
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Airport Burger

Yeni Mao andJesús Torrivilla, <em>airport burger</em>. Courtesy the artists.
Yeni Mao andJesús Torrivilla, airport burger. Courtesy the artists.

Yeni Mao is a Canadian-born Chinese-American artist. Jesús Torrivilla is a Venezuelan writer specializing in contemporary Latin American art and critical studies.

Jésus wrote a personal account based in Antonin Artaud’s hallucinatory pilgrimage to the Mexican desert and Yeni chose a possible imaginary of Zheng He, the 15th century eunuch navy commander, discovering Teotihuacán. The two texts were written individually, cut up, and reassembled into the exquisite corpse “airport burger.”

airport burger

we pulled up to the shore
The wind blows straight to my chest and pushes me backward
Plenty of snakes around
all brown from this sun
I came to step on plants of ancient soil
make it worth the trip

I strongly desire an ending
we reach a plateau, opens onto a big lake
It’s like you can look into the underworld
Is this the splendor of the authenticity ritual?

Zheng He pulls up to Teotihuacán
Says we’re friends
let’s make fun of that
Thongs are leather tho

but I’d rather tell you
we’ll bring it back
horny and fighting

Little purple juicy fruits everywhere
I find solace in expensive granola
or someone crying from
still keeping my balls in a jar

This landscape feels the storm
But lets see what these motherfuckers are up to
Is this a poor montage of bad youtube documentaries?

mountains mountains into volcanos
green flat spikey plants
Dont ask for my pronouns, I don’t wish to hold hands with you
Yea ok the sun rises over that pyramid

Here, it’s open to the land
cities of monkey ladies
bitchy and thirsty
There are witnesses who say they saw things that never happened
they’re worth something here

I rehearse a goodbye
a dissolution
sort of. Same landscape, not so different
Shadows cross the air like distant meteors
Eagles caw and scree winding

Cut forward fast three months
casa de la chingada
sort of city in the middle of the lake


Jesús Torrivilla

Jesús Torrivilla is a writer specializing in contemporary Latin American art and critical studies. He is Academic Chief Officer in Profoundation, a multidisciplinary platform for artistic projects based in Mexico City. Torrivilla has over ten years of media experience as an editor and essayist and is the co-author of El bravo tuky, a book on the electronic music scene in the barrios of Caracas. He is a professor in the Master's Program in Curatorial Studies at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, where he is studying for a doctorate in Art History.

Yeni Mao

The sculptural practice of Yeni Mao employs the alteration of material and building systems to engage in issues of fragmentation and equations of the body and architecture. Mao received a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and subsequently trained in foundry work in California and the architectural industries of New York. He has been included in multiple international solo and group exhibitions. Mao lives and works in Mexico City.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUL-AUG 2022

All Issues