The New World Border
Prophecies, Poems, and Loqueras for the End of the Century
"Performance artist and self-proclaimed 'reverse anthropologist,' Gómez-Peña slashes and burns his way through the social jungle like a Latino Berzerker. Clear and energetic, he levels all, and I mean all, cultural dragons. He is not the first to observe that change in the late 20th century has been so enormous that the entire world, especially the United States, has plunged into a deep identity crisis, but unlike some social critics, he offers hope. First, he argues, we must recognize that no one is innocent. Then, only by accepting the inevitability of our innate hybridization will we find a healthy context for genuine growth. Taken from several projects, the author's poems and texts are astute, biting, and often painfully funny. Like any good trickster, he tries to awaken us by teaching how important it is to laugh at ourselves. Read at risk to your own complacency."
"The New World Border: Prophecies, Poems & Loqueras For The End Of The Century is a carnivalesque inversion of ethnic and geo-political ideology, a 'disorienting' free-fall into the space between cultures, and a head-on collision with the real and imagined borders that separate North and South. An intercultural interpreter, reverse anthropologist, experimental linguist, and political artist of the first order, Guillermo Gómez-Peña has created a hybrid culture and articulated a borderless ethos. In this new collection of essays, poems, performance texts, and manifestos, he muses on matters of race, gender, language, and identity. A border denizen (part shaman and part trickster) he slips easily between languages and lands, creating an imaginative new world out of the places where cultures mutually invade each other. The New World Border explores the conceptual terrain of an alternate end-of-the-century civilization. It surveys the United States' current landscape of racial violence, separatist movements, and irrational fears of otherness. Gómez-Peña invites the reader into uncharted territory: the vast, intercontinental border zone where people live between and across cultures and countries, creating a thoroughly hybrid society where the only cultural "others" are those who stubbornly resist "mestizaje". The New World Border is both wildly entertaining and thoughtfully incisive, inducing a kind of cultural vertigo that erases the borders between 'us' and 'them'. The New World Border is a required addition to all literary and multicultural studies collections!
Midwest Book Review
'Great Chicano thinker' honored at MOCA
Jun 27, 2007
Tucson's Museum of Contemporary Art offers many exhibits and events that focus on political art. Guillermo Gómez-Peña's performance art has no boundaries, dabbling in poetry, writings and photographs. Most of his work reflects the borders between Mexican and U.S. cultures. This summer, the museum presents a multitude of events in his honor, including a visit from the artist himself.