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Krist E Bender

Nov 10, 1995, 3:00:00 AM11/10/95
Rice University Art Gallery



A performance/installation by
Guillermo Gomez-Pena,
Roberto Sifuentes,
James Luna

November 11 - December 9, 1995

Opening reception:
Saturday, November 11, 1995, 7 to 10 p.m.

Gallery Appearances at Rice:
Sunday, November 12, Noon to 5 p.m.

Gallery Appearances at DiverseWorks:
Saturday, November 11, 1995, 7 to 10 p.m.
Tuesday, November 14, 1 to 6 p.m.
Wednesday, November 15, 4 to 9 p.m.

This interactive performance/installation by three
nationally-recognized multimedia artists expands on Gomez-Pena and
Luna's The Shame Man and El Mexican't at the Smithsonian Country Club
(at DiverseWorks) by linking DiverseWorks with two sites, Rice
University Art Gallery and Multicultural Education and Counseling
through the Arts (MECA) via the Internet. While on display at the
DiverseWorks gallery and interacting with the satellite sites,
Gomez-Pena and Luna will transform themselves from private to public
personae over the course of six days, November 11-16. Sifuentes, as
the character CyberVato, the Information Superhighway Bandito, encased
in a Plexiglas box will extend the installation through Internet
access. Viewers at all sites may observe the CyberVato's world-wide
communications on topics ranging from the Chiapas activist movement
and affirmative action to NAFTA and academic discourse. The Shame Man
and El Mexican't Meet the CyberVato explores issues of cultural
identity and stereotypes, while contrasting the intimacy of private
ritual with the clamor of the public realm. The work also provides a
subtle commentary on the skewed demographics of Internet

Gomez-Pena has written, "In recent years we have witnessed the
‘borderization' of the world, a product of massive
‘deterritorialization' of large human sectors. Borders are opening and
being allowed to perforate, as cultures and languages mutually invade
one another." Gomez-Pena identifies and crosses many borders,
identifying himself as ‘de territorialized' Mexican-American artist
living a permanent borde experience; he lives through the multiple
layers of the border, both physically and psychologically; he views
his body as a constantly metamorphosing art-construction site, not
defined by any single nationality. James Luna often uses video as a
method of engaging autobiographical dialogue by inserting his own
image and actions into a work of art. In Luna's work, Indian rituals
are adapted to contemporary experience through gesture, artifacts,
tools, and television.

Using ritual movements evocative of preparing for a performance,
Gomez-Pena and Luna will transform themselves from private to public
personas over the course of five days, November 11 - 15, 1995. The
audience members, whose presence is crucial to the distinction between
public and private, are important participants in the event. The
artists, in turn, will arrange their "performance artifacts" for
inspection as they leave the DiverseWorks installation to take part in
one or two public events.

The opening reception will be held on Saturday, November 11th, from
7:00 to 10:00 p.m. simultaneously at all three installation sites. The
artists will perform in the gallery at DiverseWorks on Sunday,
November 12th from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m.; and Tuesday, November 14th from
1:00 to 6:00 p.m. and Wednesday, November 15th from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m.;
the Sunday, November 12th performance will include simultaneous
transmissions via the Internet to MECA and Rice. The public is
encouraged to visit all three sites over the course of the performance
residency. A special public event will occur on Thursday, November
16th from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. The Shame Man and El Mexican't Meet the
CyberVato will have a homepage on the World Wide Web at URL:

Roberto Sifuentes is an interdisciplinary artist who is originally
from Los Angeles and is now living in New York. Utilizing performance
and installation, he has performed and exhibited this past year in
Santa Fe, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Chicago, the Detroit Institute of the
Arts, New York, and Canada. He recently completed his participation in
a bi-national project called Terreno Peligroso/Danger Zone, a
month-long exchange of art and ideas which took place both in Los
Angeles and Mexico City between US Latino and Mexican performance
artists. Mr. Sifuentes will have an advance Houston residency (October
15 - 19, 1995) to work with a group of five young artists from
Multicultural Education and Counseling Through the Arts (MECA)'s arts
education program. These young artists will head the
installation/performance at MECA during the initial exhibition week,
and will develop the text and visual images for daily communiques to
be sent among the installation sites via the Internet. These messages
will address such issues as affirmative action, Proposition 187,
NAFTA, and other related topics.

Interdisciplinary artist/writer Guillermo Gomez-Pena was born in
Mexico City and came to the US in 1978. Since then he has been
exploring cross-cultural issues with the use of performance,
multilingual poetry, journalism, video, radio, and installation art.
His performance work and critical writings have helped develop debates
on cultural diversity, identity, and US-Mexico relations. A collection
of his writings was recently published by Greywolf Press under the
title Warrior for Gringostroika. Gomez-Pena is the recipient of a 1991
MacArthur Fellowship and a 1989 Bessie Award; his work has been
featured internationally at the 1992 Sydney Biennale, as well as the
1993 Whitney Biennale and the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave
Festival, among many others. Gomez-Pena was a founding member of the
Border Arts Workshop/Taller de Arte Fronterizo, a contributor to the
national radio program Crossroads, and the editor of the experimental
arts magazine The Broken Line/La Lunea Quebrada.

James Luna, a Luiseno/Diegueno Indian, is a multi-media installation
and performance artist who works out of the La Jolla Indian
Reservation in North County San Diego, California. Luna's works
critique the mythology of what it means to be "Indian" in contemporary
American society. His pieces often deal with difficult issues
affecting Indian communities, (social-economic problems, substance
abuse, and cultural conflict), sometimes confronting the situation
head-on and sometimes incorporating humor and lightheartedness as both
balance and salve. Luna's performances and installations have been
presented nationally in such venues as the New Museum of Contemporary
Art, the National Gallery of Canada, the Detroit Institute of the
Arts, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the University of
California at Santa Cruz. Luna works as counselor for Palomar
Community College in San Marcos, California, where he is an advocate
for Indian policy and higher education.

In addition to the performance times, public exhibition hours at each
site will be:

November 17 - December 30
Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays noon to
5 p.m.

November 11 - December 30
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Rice University Art Gallery
November 11 - December 9
Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Thursday until 9 p.m.

The Shame Man and El Mexican't Meet the CyberVato is made possible
through a grant from the Challenge Program of the National Endowment
for the Arts for DiverseWorks' DiverseDialogues Residency Program.
Additional support has been provided by the National Performance
Network, the Brown Foundation, Continental Airlines, and individual
donors and members of DiverseWorks and the National Performance
Network. In addition, Compaq Computer Corporation is a corporate
sponsor for this exhibition, providing advanced computer technology.

This exhibition, along with the concurrentTurtle Boat Head, marks the
first time the participating artists' work will be seen in Houston.
Both exhibitions are presented in conjunction with the symposium
House, Home, Homeland, to be held at the Rice Media Center October
27-29, 1995.

Art, Architecture and Design in the Museum District
6100 Main MS-21
Houston, TX 77005 USA

Gallery Hours:
Tuesday - Saturday, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Thursdays, 11 a.m. until 9 p.m.
Closed Sunday, Monday and all university holidays.

Note special hours above for this performance.

Phone: 713-527-6069
Fax: 713-285-5980


[Return to HHH home page]
[Return to RUAG home page]
[Return to MECA home page]
[Return to CyberVato home page]
[Return to DiverseWorks home page]


Last update: November 9,1995

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