A brand new spoken-word monologue & “live-action juke-box”
by Guillermo Gómez-Peña & Balitrónica
Guillermo Gómez-Peña is a performance artist, writer, activist, radical pedagogue and artistic director of the performance troupe La Pocha Nostra. Born in Mexico City, he moved to the US in 1978, and since 1995, his three homes have been San Francisco, Mexico City and the “road”.
His performance work and 21 books have contributed to the debates on cultural, generational, and gender diversity, border culture and North-South relations. His artwork has been presented at over one thousand venues across the US, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Russia, South Africa and Australia. A MacArthur Fellow, USA Artists Fellow, and a Bessie, Guggenheim, and American Book Award recipient, he is a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines in the US, Mexico, and Europe and a contributing editor to The Drama Review (NYU-MIT), the Performance Art Week Journal of the Venice Biennale, and emisférica, the publication of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics (NYU). Gómez-Peña is currently a Patron for the London-based Live Art Development Agency, and a Senior Fellow in the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics.
La Pocha Nostra and the artists are thrilled to present excerpts from their most recent performance manuscripts and bank of ritual actions. Utilizing a casino roulette and traditional tarot deck, Balitronica utilizes various forms of oracular magic to select spoken word texts and props for Gómez-Peña live performance. The fate of the script and the performance are determined by methods of divination and chance.
In this new project, the artists are unplugged, thinking out loud and articulating the challenges and possibilities of reinvention in the midst of multiple pandemics. The performance includes new texts written during the past two years combined with “classics” from Gómez-Peña’s own living archives.
Artist Statement by Gómez-Peña:
“My new performance represents the fruit of my life’s work in all its iterations: live performance, lecturing, archiving, literary work, mentoring, community activism, all coming together to address the dangers of the times we live in with its disregard for human life and insidious undermining of democracy.
At this time in my life I am thinking as much about legacy as I am trying to continually produce socially conscious experimental artwork that is simultaneously plugged into the national debates. I have learned from decades of touring performance material to locations beyond the Border that a call to action – in the form of a work of art – has the power to elicit compassion and inculcate a desire for social justice.
For me performance art is a form of radical democracy and citizenship which depends on the presence of the audience/community to succeed. I view my approach to creating this hybrid piece as “performing the archives” for multiple contexts: The art world, academia, community and the media. I am particularly interested in connecting with a new generation of audience members who may not have been exposed to the history of my generation, performance art and the Chicano movement.” – Guillermo Gómez-Peña