Dangerous Border Crossers: Artist Talks Back

Overview

A self-described migrant provocateur with a "hyper-Mexican mustache and loungy sideburns," Guillermo Gomez-Pena performs as he lives and travels -- from America through Europe, Asia, and North Africa -- making his border crossings and crosscultural misencounters into

art. He reflects in Spanish, English, and Spanglish, seeking out Mexican and Chicano communities, retracing the roots of his heritage, and revisiting the many overlapping cultures to which he belongs: diasporic ...

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Overview

A self-described migrant provocateur with a "hyper-Mexican mustache and loungy sideburns," Guillermo Gomez-Pena performs as he lives and travels -- from America through Europe, Asia, and North Africa -- making his border crossings and crosscultural misencounters into

art. He reflects in Spanish, English, and Spanglish, seeking out Mexican and Chicano communities, retracing the roots of his heritage, and revisiting the many overlapping cultures to which he belongs: diasporic Latin Americans, people on the margins of society, the hybrids, the

renegades.

In Dangerous Border Crossers, he interweaves poems, performance chronicles, essays, radio scripts, and reflections on culture, politics, and identity, from his life on the road. His landmark pieces -- such as his interlude as an "endangered species" inside a

Plexiglas box and his disarming confessions -- set the tone: by turns shocking, facetious, erotic, political, and urgent.

Passionate, myth-breaking, emotionally resonant, and electrifying, Dangerous Border Crossers connects a remarkable range of subjects, revealing what goes

into the making of performance art, and establishing Gomez-Pena as one of this century's most persuasive voices for a borderless future.

that the author's fifth book confounds definition, fusing performance theory with performance diaries, conversations, essays, scripts, commentaries for NPR, travelogues, anecdotes and photographs of "living dioramas."... A cross between Oscar Wilde and Lenny Bruce, witty and gritty and

brilliant, Gomez-Pena stretches language to the breaking point, coining words and code shifting at will... Anyone interested in contemporary performance theory should read this book. For the rest of us, it is a cultural roller-coaster ride with decidedly satirical seat belts.

(Publishers Weekly)

theorizing, and wonderful griping narrative. The tone is irreverent, playful, blithe, celebrating, at times nostalgic, resigned and laconic, but never indulgent, or obnoxiously haughty and professorial. One of the most appealing aspects of this book, at a prima facie level, is the way

Gomez-Pena, and his colleagues, exhibited the virtues of linguistic carnivalization. (Eduardo Mendieta, Hispanic Outlook)

engagement that every page communicates. And like everyone who travels across borders, especially those that do so without so-called official papers, this book will be ready to serve all kinds of purposes. (Eduardo Mendieta, Hispanic Outlook)

(Eduardo Mendieta, Hispanic Outlook)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A Mexican transplanted to Los Angeles, writer and performance artist G mez-Pe a celebrates hybridity, borderless frontiers, interdisciplinary art forms, linguistic amalgams, cultural collisions--virtually everything that partakes of "betweenness," especially the image of the Chicano cyborg, half human-half machine. So it shouldn't surprise that the author's fifth book confounds definition, fusing performance theory with performance diaries, conversations, essays, scripts, commentaries for NPR, travelogues, anecdotes and photographs of "living dioramas." (Philosophically, all this amalgamation stems from the concept of mestizaje, the mixing of European and indigenous "blood" that produced the Mexican peoples.) A cross between Oscar Wilde and Lenny Bruce, witty and gritty and brilliant, G mez-Pe a stretches language to the breaking point, coining words and code shifting at will. He defines performance itself as "an artistic `genre'... in a constant state of crisis," an "ideal medium for articulating a time of permanent crisis such as our own." Performance art is by definition controversial, often intended to provoke thought by violating social strictures. Yet G mez-Pe a finds that, in the '90s, "citizen action," in which people banded together to protest `immoral' art, became a "weekend sport" with performance artists "fair game." Anyone interested in contemporary performance theory should read this book. For the rest of us, it is a cultural roller-coaster ride with decidedly satirical seat belts. (Aug.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Library Journal
Awarded a prestigious MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1991, G mez-Pe a is known for shocking audiences with such performances as "Couple in a Cage" (1994), a critique of the historical practice of displaying and exoticising indigenous peoples. His newest book is a collection of performance texts, radio scripts, poetry, critical writing, interviews, and photographs that chronicles his performance and activist escapades since 1994, when his books, The New World Border and Warrior for Gringostroika, left off. Filled with biting humor and political satire, the text again weaves between such diverse topics as border culture, technology, racism, language, and globalization. Dangerous Border Crossers complements a second title from Routledge, Corpus Delecti (1999), an anthology of Latino performance art from the Caribbean and the Americas, edited by Coco Fusco. Both books add to the much-needed recent surge of publications on performance art. Recommended for academic and other libraries with specialized collections in contemporary art, theater, or Latin culture.--Krista Ivy, Bryn Mawr Coll. Lib., PA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415182362
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 5/28/2000
  • Pages: 304
  • Lexile: 1320L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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