By Guillermo Gómez-Peña
A self-described migrant provocateur with a ''hyper-Mexican mustache and loungy sideburns,'' Guillermo Gomez-Pena plays as he lives and travels -- from the United States via Europe, Asia, and North Africa -- making his border crossings and crosscultural misencounters into artwork. He displays in Spanish, English, and Spanglish, searching out Mexican and Chicano groups, retracing the roots of his history, and revisiting the numerous overlapping cultures to which he belongs: diasporic Latin american citizens, humans at the margins of society, the hybrids, the renegades.
In harmful Border Crossers, he interweaves poems, functionality chronicles, essays, radio scripts, and reflections on tradition, politics, and id, from his existence at the highway. His landmark items -- comparable to his interlude as an ''endangered species'' inside of a Plexiglas field and his disarming confessions -- set the tone: by means of turns stunning, facetious, erotic, political, and pressing. Passionate, myth-breaking, emotionally resonant, and electrifying, risky Border Crossers connects a striking diversity of topics, revealing what is going into the making of functionality artwork, and constructing Gomez-Pena as certainly one of this century's so much persuasive voices for a without borders destiny.
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Additional resources for Dangerous Border Crossers
Do you have some of this shit on disc? GGP No. I no longer have a laptop. I am a Neo-Luddite. RS A luddite with a mechanical wheelchair? GGP Yes. RS You fuckin’ ro-man-tico! Shift 348X-13 Trivialize race. Go! GGP OJ was a cyborg constructed by your own fears & desires. RS But was he guilty? ”)…cause he is a…a…a…black cyborg. (Pause) GGP I didn’t say it. You did!! RS These are the issues that truly matter GGP Sure…in a time & place where nothing significant truly matters. RS What you consider trivia is my raison d’être.
Go! GGP Fear is the foundation of your identity (he points at someone in audience). RS What a fuckin’ assumption. GGP To be Mexican is a felony not a misdemeanor… RS Hey better, chido, punchy. GGP versus ser pocho es still una afrenta binacional. RS You are using Spanish unnecessarily. Shift accent. GGP (Texan accent) I’m fully aware that your ears are tired of listening to so many foreign languages (He speaks in “gringo tongues,” interspersed with recognizable English words) RS Stop! Next dialect!
In early 1998, after we had been immersed for some time in this multifaceted process of creative investigation, my collaborators and I felt that it was time for the ethnocyborgs to be given voice. In dialogue with Roberto and Sara, I wrote a proscenium piece titled BORDERscape 2000, which incorporates the personae of the ethno-cyborgs, providing them with texts delivered in a range of computer-processed voices. The soundscape for the piece, a montage created by Rona Michele, combines prerecorded rap and rock en español with live arias by opera singers.