Nao Bustamante : America the beautiful.
Video documentation of Nao Bustamante's solo performance America the Beautiful presented as part of the 3rd Encuentro of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, celebrated in July of 2002 in Lima, Peru under the title Globalization, Migration and the Public Sphere. America the Beautiful is a body-narrative, which begins with the performer literally setting the stage. Through the rituals of feminine transformation, using clear packing tape and haphazard make-up, Bustamante creates a distorted reality of beauty with all of its eros and defeat. This tragic/comedy takes the viewer on a bizarre circus-like adventure of ladder climbing and breath-holding tension. Nao Bustamante is an internationally known performance art pioneer originating from the San Joaquin Valley of California. Her work encompasses performance art, installation, video, pop music and experimental rips in time. Using the body as a source of image, narrative and emotion, her performances communicate on the level of subconscious language taking the spectator on a bizarre journey, with haunting images, cracking stereotypes by embodying them. Bustamante's work has been presented, among other sites at, the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Arts, and the Kiasma Museum of Helsinki. She has performed in Galleries, Museums, Universities and underground sites throughout Asia, Africa, Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Mexico and the United States. Her collaborations include working with such luminaries as Coco Fusco and Osseus Labrint. In 2001 she received the prestigious Anonymous Was a Woman fellowship. Currently she is living in Troy, New York and an assistant professor of New Media and Live Art at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics