“Tired Selena, The Tranny, and Caribbean-inspired Beef Soup” 

Cooking Show with Xiomara Sebastián Castro Niculescu

[Four people connect virtually on a Zoom grid that is outlined by a magenta line. They are filming a cooking show episode of The Harmony Show entitled Tired Selena, The Tranny, and Caribbean-inspired Beef Soup. The largest part of the Zoom grid is a share-screen of a photograph by artist Xiomara Sebastián Castro Niculescu that depicts the artist reclining on her side on a loveseat while wearing a black négligée and black high heels. Her head is covered by a patterned pillow. One of her legs, kicked up behind her, rests on an identical patterned pillow. To the right of the share-screen photograph is a column of Zoom participants. On the top of the column, Xiomara and Amber stand in front of a stainless steel table with pots, bowls, and other cooking-related tools. Xiomara is a Latina trans woman with light skin wearing a tank top close to the color of her arms. Most of her shoulder-length dark hair is swept up behind her head, though her glasses-length bangs—parted in the middle—frame her face. Xiomara wears a grey mask and stands next to Amber, a white cis woman wearing a purple jumpsuit. Amber has long dark hair with grey streaks and wears a grey mask that matches Xiomara’s. Below them is Davecat, a Black cis man with dark hair slicked over the right side of his forehead wearing a white button down shirt with a patterned tie. He wears silver and black corded headphones and sits on a loveseat covered with a plaid blanket. His bookshelf and desk are viewable in the background, as is part of a British flag hung on the wall. On the bottom of the column is Sidore Kuroneko, a Japanese-British Synthetik. Sidore has light skin and purple hair and wears a black and grey spaghetti strap dress, red lipstick, and vintage Pan Am corded headphones. She sits in front of a black bookcase holding books and collectables.]



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Xiomara Sebastián Castro Niculescu is a trans Latina performance artist, writer, and organizer from New York, by way of Quito, Ecuador and Târgu Mureș, Romania. Her artworks address what it means to inhabit a marked body, an unwieldy body framed by both abjection and desire in its relationship to structural power. Performing through avatars, semi-autobiographical and self-created performative embodiments, she considers the relation of her marked body to various historical and contemporary “others.” Centered in lived experience as much as a research-based practice, her interdisciplinary works offer an alternate mode of thinking the world-making power of inhabiting flesh. In her critical writing, she seeks to bolster a “trans of color critique” through embodied strategies in performances by racialized trans women artists and activists from the 1970s to the present. 

Her performance projects and collaborations have been reviewed in Artforum, and featured at MoMA PS1, Performa, the Bureau of General Services - Queer Division, the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, and Visual AIDS, as well as through various other digital publications. She co-organized the NYC Trans Oral History Project from 2018-2021, and currently works as a freelance archivist for queer artists and as the Coordinator of Oral History Special Projects at the New York Public Library. Her first book-length project is forthcoming from Pink Jacket Press in 2024.

Photograph by Xiomara Sebastián Castro Niculescu from her video performance "A Domestic; Cut," 2021

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Photograph by Nicole of Heal me Delicious︎︎︎

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©The Harmony Show 2024