Arca Favorite 



Apr 7 2017



Alejandro Ghersi, the Venezuelan-born artist behind Arca, is part of a relatively recent and growing diaspora, and at a time when the political situation back home is at a fever pitch, it feels difficult not to see the ways this album relates to the anguish of that experience. Diasporic loss is one of the emerging themes in music from independent Venezuelan artists who have left the country to find relative safety in spaces unfamiliar and strange, and Arca’s contribution to that conversation is as devastating as it is expansive. In times of urgency and shifting world politics, Arca has found his voice.

Whether with words or sounds – and often a combination – Ghersi makes sure that queer deviance is always a part of this musical narrative. In an era where the wealthy, white gay and lesbian establishment seeks to push narratives of normalcy modeled after heteronormativity, Arca rebels. Instead, Ghersi ties queerness to monstrosity, all while ripping himself apart to spill wide open. He has always shown a fascination with the grotesque and, with his main visual collaborator Jesse Kanda, has created a dark, sprawling universe in which discomfort leads to beauty, discovery, and healing. This commitment to discomfort, as well as his firm positioning as a Latin American artist, is Arca’s effort to maintain a queer culture that is under attack. In the effort to sanitize, gentrify, and whitewash queerness, Arca has a very clear message: resist.

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