Mexterminator vs. the Global Predator
Guillermo Gómez-Peña will give Portland audiences a dose of his classic genre-busting, politically potent performance this Thursday at PNCA. A MacArthur fellow and longtime performance artist, Mexico-City–born Gómez-Peña brings to the forefront issues of globalization, immigration, identity politics, cyber culture and post-colonial theory in a mix of video, audio, spoken word and performance. Portland is no stranger to Gómez-Peña's breed of performance. He has been through town before and was part of Reed's Film Series exhibition in 2002. He also shares a close affinity with the work of fellow performance artist Coco Fusco, who presented a PICA-commissioned work dealing with many of the same themes for the first tba festival. In 1992, Fusco and Gómez-Peña collaborated on a notorious performance, which involved the pair posing as "undiscovered" and caged Amerindians from a fictitious island, originating at the Walker and continuing to both the Sydney and Whitney Biennials.
Since 9-11, Gómez-Peña has been coming to terms with a political and culture climate increasingly restrained by conservatism and fear, and much of his most radical work, often done in collaboration with his troupe La Pocha Nostra, is now being performed outside of the United States. In a recently published statement, Gómez-Peña made a frank declaration of his decision to perform his more "extreme" works outside US borders, finding a last refuge to confront the most provocative issues in his solo, spoken word performances, "since language in the contemporary USA appears to be less dangerous than live art." In Thursday's performance, Mexterminator vs. the Global Predator, Gomez-Pena will present a solo performance, unleashing "demons, both personal and political, and...[inviting] them onstage for a mano-a-mano, from which no one will emerge unscathed."
Thursday, February 23 • 7 p • Free
Pacific Northwest College of Art • 1241 NW Johnson • Tel 503.223.2654
This performance is the Oregon College of Art & Craft 2006 Jamison Lecture and is part of Contemporary Crafts Museum & Gallery's Excellence is Craft Lecture Series. Co-presented with 2 Gyrlz Performative Arts and Pacific Northwest College of Art.
I am beyond excited for this. That is all I can say. I am really not a fan of performance art, but there is just something too compelling with Gomez-Pena's work to resist.
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