Magazine article Americas (English Edition)

Crossing All Borders

Magazine article Americas (English Edition)

Crossing All Borders

Article excerpt

On a Sunday morning in October, a Japanese tourist visiting Washington, D.C., came across an unusual exhibition in the Smithsonian Institute's Museum of Natural History. "Are those real people inside that cage?" asked the bewildered visitor. The people in the cage were Mexican performance artist Guillermo Gomez-Pena and partner Coco Fusco, appearing as "undiscovered aborigines" from the island of Guitinau in the Gulf of Mexico.

The "exhibition" was the third part of Gomez-Pena's counter-quincentenary trilogy. Entitled "The Year of the White Bear," this interdisciplinary project includes a radio show, multi-media installations and both site-specific and theater performances. Commenting on their creation of "The Year of the White Bear," Gomez-Pena and Fusco state, "The ghosts (of history) we are trying to unleash are extremely whimsical, irreverent, and grotesque. We stir up an awareness of the absurdity of trying to forget about the past." The "cage" piece was also performed in Madrid's Columbus Plaza, London's Covent Garden and at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

In a companion theater piece called "New World (B)order", Gomez-Pena and Fusco promote a Free Art Agreement between Mexico, the U. …

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