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Dangerous Border Crossers: The Artist Talks Back

Dangerous Border Crossers: The Artist Talks Back

Guillermo Gomez-Pena

  • $ 1500

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"A Mexican transplanted to Los Angeles, writer and performance artist Gomez-Pena celebrates hybridity, borderless frontiers, interdisciplinary art forms, linguistic amalgams, cultural collisionsAvirtually 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, Gomez-Pena 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 Gomez-Pena 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." - Publisher's Weekly

First Edition

285 pages, 6.33"x8.8", Perfect-bound

Note: this is a used book