Friday, December 5, 2008
G & oacute;mez-Pe & ntilde;a has an international reputation as a premiere performance artist because he challenges mainstream ideas about race and society through transgressive performance. What does that mean? & It means his work is a recipe of shock, surprise, wonder, all mixed with a thick, stock base of social commentary. & G & oacute;mez-Pe & ntilde;a and his band of culture warriors build their performances on stereotypes and cultural fetishes, which means this fashion show will push some serious boundaries. & This is from La Pocha Nostra's manifesto : & "We create interactive living museums that parody various colonial practices of representation including the ethnographic diaorama (as found in museums of natural history) the Freak show, the Indian Trading Post, the border 'curio shop', the sex shop/strip joint window display and their contemporary equivalents in global media and corporate entertainment." &
These performances also involve the audience. & As an audience member, you are invited to participate in spontaneous ways. And in some ways, the performances couldn't take place without you. & Part of what the performers, called "ethno-cyborgs," feed off of are your projections and ideas of "the other," especially "the other" that is Third World or brown or black or red. & The whole performance thrives off of this interplay between your assumptions, broader cultural assumptions, and the performers who are physically inhabiting and exaggerating those assumptions. & Sound like a heady mix? & It is, and I don't think it's hyperbole to say that it can be a tranformative experience.
Tickets to the event also include hosted "barbarian" food at J6 Bar and Lounge , (vegetarians should eat beforehand). & The performers will be mingling among the guests at J6 and all guests are encouraged to dress like barbarians. & Those with the best costumes will be handpicked to sit in the front row of the fashion show. After noshing at J6, the group will walk in parade form to the new Sushi space (now called Sushi: A Center for the Urban Arts) on 11th Avenue for the actual fashion show/performance. & If you don't leave blown away, I'll eat Anna Wintour's obscenely large sunglasses. &