Mundos Alternos performances are Friday, Saturday

Guillermo Gómez-Peña, La Pocha Nostra troupe to perform

Mundos Alternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas, UCR ARTSblock’s exhibition of over 30 contemporary artists working within the science fiction genre, will feature live performances as a part of the exhibition.

“We are an organization that includes performance arts as an important part of our programing, so it was imperative that we also engage artists who work in performance to be part of the exhibition,” said Kathryn Poindexter, exhibitions manager and assistant curator for ARTSblock.

Guillermo Gómez-Peña will perform solo and as part of his troupe, La Pocha Nostra, on Friday, Oct. 20 and Saturday, Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. Gómez-Peña’s unique solo style combines spoken word, activist theory, radical storytelling and language experimentation, offering critical and humorous commentary about the art world, academia, technology, the culture of war and violence in the US, organized crime in Mexico, and gender and race politics.

La Pocha Nostra, a transdisciplinary group devoted to erasing the borders between art and politics, practice and theory, and artist and spectator, includes Gómez-Peña, Balitronica Gómez, and Saul García Lopez, and is known for its interactive performances dealing with issues that equate the human body with the political body and address complex gender and ethnic identities, migration, and the politics of new technologies and language.

For Saturday’s performance, Ex-Machina 3.0: A Psychomagic ritual against violence, the central “image” consists of a nude cyborg body acupunctured with needles bearing flags of 40 insidious corporations affecting the economy, politics, and culture of the US and Mexico. The audience will be invited to remove the flags as a form of collective activism. Simultaneously, the performance depicts Xochipili, the Aztec God of Corn, an indigenous body covered with transgenic corn. The audience will be asked to collectively consume the flesh of the “corn man” as an act of conceptual cannibalism and ritual exorcism against colonialism and the violence of our times.

On Jan. 27, Carmelita Tropicana (Alina Troyano) will perform Hybrid Alternos, an interactive performance in collaboration with her sister, filmmaker Ela Troyano. In a world where species are disappearing and new ones created, Hye, a human hyena hybrid, is a fugitive desperately seeking home in Nebula, the only nation that accepts subhuman hybrids and illegal androids. Hybrid Alternos explores the disappearance of animal species, current issues of immigration, and xenophobic discourse through a futuristic lens.

The performance will engage issues of animal and environmental conservation through Carmelita Tropicana’s lens of humor and fantasy. The artist will lead a panel discussion following her performance that evening.

Mundos Alternos is an expansive project. Beyond the exhibition, there is a companion film series, a publication that has generated new scholarship in the field, and this robust performance component,” Poindexter said. “Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Carmelita Tropicana are such revered figures in performance art, it is an exciting opportunity to host performances like these.”

The events are free. For more information, and to register, www.artsblock.ucr.edu

Mundos Alternos is part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles, taking place from September 2017 through January 2018 at more than 70 cultural institutions from Santa Barbara to San Diego, and from Los Angeles to Palm Springs.

Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty with arts institutions across Southern California. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America. For more information, visit www.artsblock.ucr.edu and www.pacificstandardtime.org.

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