Work overview in selected videos, documentaries and texts. Courtesy the artist.



Guillermo Gomez-Pena, 10 Psychomagical Actions Against Violence. Photograph by Cristhian Avila.


Guillermo Gómez-Peña (born 1955 in Mexico City) is a Chicano performance artist, writer, activist and educator. His seminal performance art pieces are concerned with the radical exploration of borders –physical, cultural or otherwise–, hybrid identities, and the politics of language. Audience participation contributes to create a "total experience". For twenty years, Gómez-Peña has been exploring intercultural issues with the use of mixed genres and experimental languages. Continually developing multi-centric narratives and large-scale performance projects from a border perspective, Gómez-Peña creates what critics have termed "Chicano cyber-punk performances," and "ethno-techno art." In his work, cultural borders have moved to the center while the alleged mainstream is pushed to the margins and treated as exotic and unfamiliar, placing the audience members in the position of "foreigners" or "minorities." He mixes English and Spanish, fact and fiction, social reality and pop culture, Chicano humor and activist politics to create a "total experience" for the viewer/reader/audience member. These strategies can be found in his live performance work, his radio chronicles, his award-winning video art pieces, and his five published books. Through his organization La Pocha Nostra, Gómez-Peña has focused very intensely in the notion of collaboration across national borders, race, gender and generation as an act of citizen diplomacy and as a means to create "ephemeral communities."

The VENICE INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCE ART WEEK shows a work overview in selected performance videos, documentaries and texts. On exhibit is further the video by Paula Heredia based on the performance by Coco Fusco & Guillermo Gómez-Peña The Couple in the Cage (1993).

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