Guillermo Gómez-Peña to visit CSU Fort Collins

This is an event that I strongly recommend. Perhaps some of your peers might be interested in carpooling to Fort Collins. Feel free to post here in the comments section if you are interested in carpooling to Fort Collins.

The Colorado State University Student Organization for the Visual Arts (SOVA) is honored to announce Guillermo Gómez-Peña as a visiting artist for the 2008 academic season. The artist will appear at CSU’s Lory Student Center Theater on Wednesday, February 27, and Thursday, February 28, at 6 p.m. The events are free and open to the public.

Wednesday evening Gómez-Peña will offer a solo performance, The Mexorcist, in which he explores aspects of immigration, globalization, technology, censorship, and interracial relations. Thursday evening’s audio-visual performance, Ethno Techno: In Search of a New Aesthetic, will focus on Gómez-Peña’s projects over the past five years. In addition to themes addressed in The Mexorcist, Gómez-Peña here explores the “mainstream bizarre” and “multi-culturalism” as it relates to the Chicano/Latino community, and notions of the body in performance.

Born in Mexico, resident of San Francisco, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, whether working in performance, installation, writing, video, or the web, illuminates the cultural side effects of globalization and the commodification of identity. The world-renowned artist may also be familiar to the public as a contributor to National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.” In 1993, he formalized the artist-collective and non-profit organization La Pocha Nostra, based in San Francisco. The group’s artwork primarily concerns the interface between Mexican and United States culture. Interdisciplinary projects and books explore borders in various realms–physical, cultural, and otherwise, between the two countries and between mainstream U.S. and Latino cultures in general: the U.S.-Mexican border itself, immigration, cross-cultural identity, and the confrontation and misunderstandings between cultures and races. Gómez-Peña’s collaborative performance art often involves elaborate costuming which ultimately engages the audience to become a part of the performance itself. He has worked in multiple media, and has published eight books in both English and Spanish. Among his many prestigious awards, he is the first Mexican-born artist to receive a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship Award (1991). He has been producing work around the world consistently since 1988. In the words of La Pocha Nostra:

“Our common denominator is our desire to cross and erase dangerous borders between art and politics, practice and theory, artist and spectator. We strive to eradicate myths of purity and dissolve borders surrounding culture, ethnicity, gender, language, and métier. La Pocha collaborates across national borders, race, gender and generations. Our collaborations are founded on an ideal: If we learn to cross borders on stage, we may learn how to do so in larger social spheres. We hope others will be challenged to do the same. La Pocha Nostra is a virtual “maquiladora,” a conceptual assembly plant that produces brand-new metaphors, symbols, images, and words to explain the complexities of our times.”

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