10 February 2021
Detroit, MI

On Being Valued Without Being Understood: A Choreographed Essay by Maceo Paisley

Performed by Maceo Paisley and prompted by Zion Estrada


Maceo Paisley in motion


Maceo Paisley is a multi-disciplinary artist, designer, and cultural producer who explores themes in society and identity through movement, language, and imagery.


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A Video Transcript:

It's interesting to me that we get so infatuated with fantasy and this otherworldly way. Like dragons and monsters and wizards. And for me, my fantasy is, is maybe a little bit more esoteric and a little bit more personal. I don't think of having magical powers or being able to time travel.

I think I really just want to be valued without having to be understood. I want to be appreciated without having to fill a role. And I want to be affirmed in my belonging. The way it feels inside my body by the world. And even as I say it, it sounds ridiculous to ask for, and it sounds like something that will never occur. And so for now, it exists in the realm of fantasy. But, I hope one day that fantasy will become reality. And until then, it's really just about practicing, allowing that space to exist without; within myself, so that it gets to be reverberated in the world.

[Musical interlude by Defsound “Blk Symposium” ] “The product placement of dreams. He chases Mother Nature is obviously only God could judge me on his way on his way and we start wanting more and more everything telling him telling me why are you mad scribbling penciling? What is black literally? What is that? figuratively? What is that like? Are you awake? What is this life? A series of adjustments seriously be husband seriously be so seriously be something black boy blues black boy abuse Black Lives highlight us but we get slain and that's not news and we're in pain and that's not no they say that's not me and that's how you picture people now pressure by fear and oppression religion or gender boys in the waters you know where they visit agendas we Muslims or Christians or when they get booted up in any way anti basis that we have in any way. experiences we live in these beautiful brothers or sisters that tragically color chosen to create a difference in their race no one's running, who's planning to win and I'm tired of by the music that has been loosened. Don't lose it this moment. Don't Don't lose it this moment. Don't use this moment. Don't lose it this moment. Moment. moment, don't lose it this moment.Promise. I'll come back to where we have been crazy how we can exist on every plane but the one we make a chunk of all this black vote is black voters, boy voters black voters. Just like me, Kirby my daddy, but he looked like me. Could be like being big on the TV. Just like me. I've got pockets and the dollar and Masako for keeping me home.”



I think it means I have to change some things about the way I see reality now. To be valued without having to stay on beat without having to perform. Allowing myself to feel into the reality that I hope to exist one day. It all feels light years away. But every now and then what feels like a miracle. Isn't that fantasy sits…. in me. How the moments right before I get out of bed right after waking, I'm still half dreaming half awake. Feels real. Maybe I can climb through some dimension. And that's where the time travel comes into play. Maybe I'm experiencing an infinity in an instant. That makes me believe that it's entirely possible that the fantasies that we hoped for, or maybe already there, and we just need to practice acknowledging them as a part of a reality we can engage with. And then we don't have to worry about fantasies so much, because we've expanded our definition of what reality is to include imagination and possibility. Not only for the world, but for ourselves. We don't have to do nothing, be nothing, perform nothing. I don't have to do nothing, if it’s enough to perform nothing. Because I'm already everything that I ever could be. There's something peaceful.



Maceo Paisley ︎

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A Consul_Co project.
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