New York

Guillermo Gomez-Pena

Dance Theater Workshop

In his performances and manifestos, “border artist” Guillermo Gómez-Peña describes the fissure between two worlds that he inhabits. Geographically, that means Tijuana/San Diego, but to this artist interested in “alternative cartographies,” the more important space is metaphoric, one closer to Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s “thousand plateaus” than to a landscape with mesas. In Border Brujo, 1988, Gómez-Peña wore a border-guard jacket covered with signifying buttons (political slogans, Michael Jackson’s face, toy sheriffs badges), a necklace of plastic bananas, a straw hat, and a pigtail. He read his monologue at a table decorated with Day of the Dead relics, votive candles, hot peppers, and toys, slipping from one language or accent to another: English, English with a Spanish accent, Spanish with an English accent, Spanish, Spanglish, and a Native American dialect. Transitions from

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the January 1989 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.