By Guillermo Gómez-Peña
A self-described migrant provocateur with a ''hyper-Mexican mustache and loungy sideburns,'' Guillermo Gomez-Pena plays as he lives and travels -- from the US via Europe, Asia, and North Africa -- making his border crossings and crosscultural misencounters into paintings. He displays in Spanish, English, and Spanglish, looking for Mexican and Chicano groups, retracing the roots of his history, and revisiting the various overlapping cultures to which he belongs: diasporic Latin american citizens, humans at the margins of society, the hybrids, the renegades.
In harmful Border Crossers, he interweaves poems, functionality chronicles, essays, radio scripts, and reflections on tradition, politics, and identification, from his existence at the street. His landmark items -- resembling his interlude as an ''endangered species'' inside of a Plexiglas field and his disarming confessions -- set the tone: by means of turns stunning, facetious, erotic, political, and pressing. Passionate, myth-breaking, emotionally resonant, and electrifying, risky Border Crossers connects a awesome variety of matters, revealing what is going into the making of functionality artwork, and setting up Gomez-Pena as considered one of this century's so much persuasive voices for a without borderlines destiny.
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Extra info for Dangerous Border Crossers
Our original goals were to politicize the debates around digital technologies and to infect virtual space with Chicano humor and linguas polutas (such as Spanglish). We also wanted to employ new technologies to enhance mytho-poetical interactivity between performer and live audience, and as a tool for researching fundamental expressions of inter-cultural fear and desire. In 1994, Roberto and I began to incorporate in situ digital technologies in our “diorama” work. ” We invited our compadre Native American performance artist James Luna and some local artists to join us.
Despite this, the archetype of the Mexican as wise witch doctor remained intact. Visitors attempted to establish a personal “spiritual” connection with me. Their eyes looked desperately for mine. If I decided to engage in a personalized relation with them (mainly through eye contact, symbolic hand motions or subvocalizing), emotions began to pour from both sides: sadness, vulnerability, guilt, anger, tenderness. Some people cried, and in doing so, they made me cry. Some expressed their sexual desire for me, and I discreetly reciprocated.
Visitors attempted to establish a personal “spiritual” connection with me. Their eyes looked desperately for mine. If I decided to engage in a personalized relation with them (mainly through eye contact, symbolic hand motions or subvocalizing), emotions began to pour from both sides: sadness, vulnerability, guilt, anger, tenderness. Some people cried, and in doing so, they made me cry. Some expressed their sexual desire for me, and I discreetly reciprocated. Others spewed their hatred, their contempt and their fear, and I willingly took it.