Dangerous Border Crossers: The Artist Talks Back

Dangerous Border Crossers: The Artist Talks Back

Dangerous Border Crossers: The Artist Talks Back

Dangerous Border Crossers: The Artist Talks Back


A self-described migrant provocateur with a "hyper-Mexican mustache and loungy sideburns, " Guillermo Gomez-Pena performs as he lives and travels -- from America through Europe, Asia, and North Africa -- making his border crossings and crosscultural misencounters into art. He reflects in Spanish, English, and Spanglish, seeking out Mexican and Chicano communities, retracing the roots of his heritage, and revisiting the many overlapping cultures to which he belongs: diasporic Latin Americans, people on the margins of society, the hybrids, the renegades.

In Dangerous Border Crossers, he interweaves poems, performance chronicles, essays, radio scripts, and reflections on culture, politics, and identity, from his life on the road. His landmark pieces -- such as his interlude as an "endangered species" inside a Plexiglas box and his disarming confessions -- set the tone: by turns shocking, facetious, erotic, political, and urgent.

Passionate, myth-breaking, emotionally resonant, and electrifying, Dangerous Border Crossers connects a remarkable range of subjects, revealing what goes into the making of performance art, and establishing Gomez-Pena as one of this century's most persuasive voices for a borderless future.


I choose to continue remembering
the singular journey
that led me to this stage
five centuries of foreign domination
1492 performances
in which
I’ve cut my hair
sliced my wrists
farted & eaten on stage
danced on fire & ice
recreated my birth
invoked my ancestors
conspired against the government
asked for a job
sold my identity
deported myself back to Mexico
repositioned my soul within my body
reshaped my body to accommodate your whims
or to confirm your fears
aquí, tu miedo encarnado
en mi cuerpo
my body elastic
mi cuerpo celluloid
my body passional
mi cuerpo folkloric
my body cartographic
mi cuerpo cyber-punk
my body rupestre
mi cuerpo ceremonial
my body militant
mi cuerpo metaphorical
my bloody body
cuerpo adentro
me interno
en un concierto
de adioses
me amortajo
hacia el futuro incierto.


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