Guillermo Gómez-Peña

Performance artist/writer Guillermo Gómez-Peña resides in San Francisco where he is artistic director of La Pocha Nostra. Born and raised in Mexico City, he came to the U.S. in 1978 to study Post-Studio art at Cal Arts. His pioneering work in performance, video, installation, poetry, journalism, photography, cultural theory and radical pedagogy explores cross-cultural issues, immigration, the politics of language, the politics of the body, “extreme culture,” and new technologies. A MacArthur Fellow and American Book Award winner, he is a regular contributor to National Public Radio, a writer for newspapers and magazines in the U.S., Mexico, and Europe, and contributing editor to The Drama Review (NYU-MIT). He is an active member of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. 

For twenty-five years, Gómez-Peña has contributed to the cultural debates of our times, staging legendary performance art pieces such as Border Brujo (1998); a collaborative performance with Coco FuscoThe Couple in the Cage (1992); The Cruci-fiction Project (1994); Temple of Confessions (1995); The Mexterminator Project (1997-99); The Living Museum of Fetishized Identities 1999-2002); and the Mapa/Corpo series (2004-2007). 

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 are moved to the center while the “alleged” mainstream is pushed to the margins, and treated as exotic and unfamiliar, placing the audience members and readers in the position of “foreigners” or “minorities.” He mixes experimental aesthetics and activist politics, Spanglish and Chicano humor, live art and audience participation, to create a “total experience” for the audience member/reader. These strategies can be found in his live performance work, his award-winning video art pieces, and his eight books.

Gómez-Peña’s performance, installation and video work have been presented at over eight hundred venues across the U.S., Canada, Spain, U.K., Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Australia, Russia, Columbia, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, and Argentina. Most recently, he has presented work with the Tate Modern, London; Arnolfini, Bristol; the Guggenheim Museum, New York City; LACMA, Los Angeles; the House of World Cultures, Berlin; MACBA, Barcelona; The Chopo Museum, Mexico City; the Encuentro Hemisférico, Lima, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, and Buenos Aires; and the Havana, Liverpool, and Mercosur Biennales. His photo-performances are in the permanent collection of the Daros Foundation, Zurich, and the Galeria Artificios, Gran Canaria.

Through his organization La Pocha Nostra, Gómez-Peña has intensely focused on the notion of collaboration across national borders, race, gender, and generations as an act of citizen diplomacy, and as a means to create “ephemeral communities” of rebel artists. La Pocha Nostra is a transdisciplinary arts organization that provides a support network and forum for artists of various disciplines, generations, and ethnic backgrounds. La Pocha Nostra is devoted to erasing the borders between art and politics, art practice and theory, artists and spectator.

Also see:

The Couple in the Cage: Guatinaui Odyssey


Available Titles by Guillermo Gómez-Peña

Titlesort icon Year Collection Action
Border Art Clásicos (1990-2005): An Anthology of Collaborative Video Works by Guillermo Gómez-Peña 2005 Box Sets order video    add to wish list
Border Brujo 1990 Single Titles order video    add to wish list
Borderstasis: A Video Diary 1998 Single Titles order video    add to wish list
The Brown Sheep Project 2003 Single Titles order video    add to wish list
A Declaration of Poetic Disobediance 2005 Single Titles order video    add to wish list
El Naftazteca: Cyber-Aztec TV for 2000 A.D. 1995 Single Titles order video    add to wish list
The Great Mojado Invasion, Part 2 (The Second U.S.--Mexico War) 2001 Single Titles order video    add to wish list
Los Videograffitis (A Selection from Ethno-techno) 2004 Single Titles order video    add to wish list
Son of Border Crisis 1990 Single Titles order video    add to wish list
Temple of Confessions 1996 Single Titles order video    add to wish list