La Pocha Nostra
(Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Saul Garcia Lopez/La Saula, and Balitronica Gómez)
San Francisco, CA
The Paseo Project featured PASEO 2019 Artist in Residence. La Pocha Nostra is a transdisciplinary arts organization that provides a support network and forum for artists of various disciplines, generations and ethnic backgrounds. We are devoted to erasing the borders between art and politics, art practice and theory, artist and spectator. For over 25 years, La Pocha Nostra has intensely focused on the notion of collaboration across national borders, race, gender and generation as an act of radical citizen diplomacy and as a means to create ephemeral communities of rebel artists.
The Enchilada Western
(A Living Museum of Fetishized Identities)
An interactive performance opera by La Pocha Nostra
The Living Museum of Fetishized Identities is the next step in their performance research to develop large-scale interactive performance/installations that functioned as “intelligent raves and art expos of Western apocalypse.” This “living museum” is site-specific and is realized from a pre-festival workshop featuring different groups of local and international performers. Original music (live or prerecorded), video projections, cinematic lighting, taxidermied animals and twisted ethnographic motifs helped enhance the high-tech “robo-baroque aesthetic.”
La Pocha Nostra returns to Taos to conduct a two and a half week residency involving workshops, rehearsals and a two night large scale performance opera parodying living history environments & cultural heritage parks gone wrong; commenting on the dangers of cultural appropriation, race bending and queering the popular mythologies of the Southwest.
In these intoxicating environments created by La Pocha, we will exhibit ourselves on platforms as intricately decorated “ethno-cyborgs” and “artificial savages”. With live music and video, the structure is open and non-coercive, allowing the audience to walk around the dioramas designing their own journey. They can stay for as long as they wish, come in and out of the space, or return later on, fully participating in our performance games or keeping to the sidelines as voyeurs.
Specifically for the Paseo Festival, we will dive into the collective subconscious of New Mexico and develop highly stylized personas that reveal its contradictions & complexities; it’s dreams and nightmares. The preliminary personas we are imagining are listed below for you two begin to develop ideas around and gather your props, costumes and materials that may be useful to the workshop.
-Conceptualized & written by Guillermo Gómez-Peña & LPN
-Producers: Emma Tramposch, Jessamyn Lovell & Matt Thomas/Paseo Project.
-Performers: LPN en transito: Gómez-Peña, Balitronica, La Saula, Micha Espinosa, DJ Ricardiaco, Muza de la Luz, Holly Timpener, Nikesha Breeze, Aquarius Funkk, Pepper Pepper, Rob Evans, Cassie Thornton and Shanna Robbins.
-Live music: DJ Ricardiaco, Micha Espinosa & Gómez-Peña
-Live Video: Pepper Pepper & LPN
-Installation crew/costumes/make-up & additional live images: Workshop participants of the “Pocha summer school in Taos”: Rob Evans, Cassie Thornton, josie j (divinebrick), Anna Valeska Pohl, Leni Hester, Arturo Herrera, Clare O’Brien, Jessica Cooke, Polina Porras Sivolobova and Tess Martins.
-Opera singers: Micha Espinosa, Gomez-Peña and name of opera singer TBA