• Saturday, 23 February 2019

Mundos Alternos Performances at UCR ARTSblock

RIVERSIDE, Calif: Mundos Alternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas, UCR ARTSblock's exhibition of over 30 contemporary artists working within the science fiction genre to imagine new realities and alternate worlds, is proud to present live performances as a part of the larger exhibition.

Kathryn Poindexter, Exhibitions Manager and Assistant Curator for UCR ARTSblock, is Curator of Performance for Mundos Alternos. She shared her enthusiasm for this component: "We are an organization that includes performance arts as an important part of our programing, so it was imperative that we also engage artists who work in performance to be part of the exhibition."

Guillermo Gomez-Peña will perform solo and as part of his troupe, La Pocha Nostra, on October 20 and 21, 2017 at 7pm. As he "is primarily a performance artist, to best represent his oeuvre, it is important to have him here to perform these new works that respond to the themes present in Mundos Alternos," Poindexter explained. Gomez-Peña's unique solo style combines spoken word, activist theory, radical storytelling and language experimentation, offering critical and humorous commentary about the art world, academia, technology, the culture of war and violence in the US, organized crime in Mexico, and gender and race politics.

La Pocha Nostra, a transdisciplinary group devoted to erasing the borders between art and politics, practice and theory, and artist and spectator, includes Gomez-Peña, Balitronica Gomez, and Saul Garcia Lopez, and is known for its radical interactive performances dealing with issues that equate the human body with the political body and address complex gender and ethnic identities, migration, and the politics of new technologies and language. For Saturday's performance, Ex-Machina 3.0: A Psychomagic ritual against violence, the central "image" consists of a nude cyborg body acupunctured with needles bearing flags of 40 insidious corporations affecting the economy, politics, and culture of the US and Mexico. The audience will be invited to remove the flags as a form of collective activism. Simultaneously, the performance depicts Xochipili, the Aztec God of Corn, an indigenous body covered with transgenic corn. The audience will be asked to collectively consume the flesh of the "corn man" as an act of conceptual cannibalism and ritual exorcism against colonialism and the violence of our times.

On January 27, 2018, Carmelita Tropicana (Alina Troyano) will perform Hybrid Alternos, an interactive performance in collaboration with her sister, filmmaker Ela Troyano. In a world where species are disappearing and new ones created, Hye, a human hyena hybrid, is a fugitive desperately seeking home in Nebula, the only nation that accepts subhuman hybrids and illegal androids. Hybrid Alternos explores the disappearance of animal species, current issues of immigration, and xenophobic discourse through a futuristic lens.

This performance work is a new iteration on Carmelita Tropicana's past performances, Post-Plastica and Schwanze Beast, from which two displayed costumes in Mundos Alternos derive. Poindexter shared that the artist is "interested in research on animal behaviors, and has in recent years studied the behaviors of female hyenas." Further, the performance will engage issues of animal and environmental conservation through Carmelita Tropicana's characteristic lens of humor and fantasy. The artist will lead a panel discussion following her performance that evening.

"Mundos Alternos is an expansive project. Beyond the exhibition, there is a companion film series, a publication that has generated new scholarship in the field, and this robust performance component," Poindexter explained. "Guillermo Gomez-Peña and Carmelita Tropicana are such revered figures in performance art, it is an exciting opportunity to host performances like these."

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Mundos Alternos Performances at UCR ARTSblock

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