This is What I Want

Cristina-Victor-by-Monica-Semergiu-1May 29-31, 2015
Tessa Wills with crystal am nelson
1310 Mission Street @ 9th
San Francisco

Available May 1st at
Performance Art

What do you want? Each year, the THIS IS WHAT I WANT live art festival asks its artists and audiences to explore their desires. This year, Tessa Wills and crystal am nelson present two artists, Cristina Victor and Pale Breast, with new performance pieces for 2015’s theme of ‘hidden desire.’

Cristina Victor’s “Ass Capital: Reflections of a Contemporary Culo” will be an auto-ethonographic, TED talk style lecture lead by the Victor’s ASS. In Pale Breast’s “Love Puppet,” audience members are invited to probe their relationship to power and control through direct manipulation of the performer’s body.

Both pieces bring something previously hidden to visibility through performance. We hide desires that make us uncomfortable, whether they’re taboo, unheard, and/or silenced by ourselves or others. These artists have explored their own hidden desires. What are yours?


Tessa Wills creates experiments in live performance which invigorate community. Her work oscillates between three themes: Professional Mourning, The Hermit Archetype, and Desire. Wills invites deep audience participation through rigorously innovating the presentational format of the work. Wills integrates eroticism to charge the bodies of work which happen primarily on stage and video. Wills performed in TIWIW in 2011, becoming artistic director in 2012. In the last four years, Wills has established the festival as the center point of a field of activity; where innovative artists are performing, thinking, and offering embodied engagement around desire as a sociopolitical phenomena.In addition to artistically directing and curating, Wills’ primary participation in TIWIW 2015 has been to lead a private performance group for Community Storytellers to delve into the practices and themes at the core of the festival, like a free underground university for performance studies about queer desire.
crystal am nelson is a scholar and artist who focuses on race, gender, sexuality, and representation. She holds an MFA in photography from San Francisco Art Institute, and she is currently a PhD student in the History of Art and Visual Culture Program at UC Santa Cruz. She has held numerous residencies, including most recently with Fieldwork Marfa, the Center for Photography at Woodstock, and the McColl Center for Visual Art. Her curatorial work includes events/projects at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Queen’s Nails Annex in San Francisco, and David Castillo Gallery in Miami. She won a 2013 apexart Franchise curatorial grant for the group exhibition Heterotopia, and she is currently working on a group exhibition titled Dark Desires, which explores black female sexualities. Her writing has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Art Practical, and Identity Theory, among other places. /
Cristina Victor is an interdisciplinary San Francisco based, Cuban hyphen American artist born and raised in the transience capital that is Miami. The daughter of Cuban exiles, Victor’s work plays with the inheritance of the exile experience and notions of displacement. Through performance/food events, video and installation, Victor creates environments where language, parody, fiction, contradiction and nostalgia are all ingredients to addressing the complexities of framing and questioning identity. Victor’s work explores authenticity and latino identity through re-appropriation of stereotypes, engaging audiences in a dialogue about how identity is constructed and digested. Victor earned her BA from Sarah Lawrence College and MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute.
 Pale Breast is an experimental theatre maker and professional nude model whose work explores the aesthetics and imagery of female sexuality. Pale Breast earned a BA in Contemporary Performance Practice at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2014. Recent performances have included “And We Beat Our Wings” at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and “Unisplooge” at London Decompression, as well as music videos for artists such as “Royksopp” and “Hercules Mandarin”. You can view more of Pale Breast’s work at