Collection Title: From Aztec to High-Tech : the performance video collections of Guillermo Gómez-Peña & La Pocha Nostra, 1985-2004
Title: The temple of confessions
Date: 1996
Location: Performed at Rhode Island College, Rhode Island, in 1996.
Work Type: Performance., Performance art., Performance/Installation., Border art., Multimedia interactive living museum.
Guillermo Gómez-Peña, director, producer ; La Pocha Nostra, producer ; Rhode Island College Art Center, producer ; Steven Davis, editor.
Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Roberto Sifuentes, Norma Medina, Michelle Ceballos.
Run-time (hh:mm:ss): 00:10:37
Language: In English, Spanish, and Spanglish.
Synopsis: This itinerant performance/installation present two 'end-of-the-century saints' from an 'unknown border religion', in search of sanctuary across the United States while gathering confessions on intercultural fears and desires. Designed as a theater of mythos and cultural pathologies, the 'Temple' proposes a ceremonial space for the reflection on ethnic, racial, and gender prejudices. It is divided in three main areas: the 'Chapel of Desires', displaying 'El Pre-Columbian Vato' or 'holy gang member' (performed by Roberto Sifuentes); the 'Chapel of Fears', displaying 'San Pocho Aztlaneca' (a 'hyper-exoticied curio shop shaman for spiritual tourists' performed by Guillermo Gómez-Peña); and an enigmatic funerary vignette composed by performance objects.Paintings of other 'hybrid santos' hang from the walls, two 'nuns' ('chola/nun' Norma Medina and 'dominatrix nun' Michelle Ceballos) take care of the temple, and visitors can leave their 'confessions'; the most revealing ones are incorporated into the installation soundtrack for future performances. La Pocha Nostra ( is an ever-morphing trans-disciplinary arts organization, founded in 1993 by Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Roberto Sifuentes, and Nola Mariano in California. The objective was to formally conceptualize Gómez-Peña's collaborations with other performance artists. It provides a base (and forum) for a loose network of rebel artists from various disciplines, generations and ethnic backgrounds, whose common denominator is the desire to cross and erase dangerous borders between art and politics, practice and theory, artist and spectator.As of June 2006, members include performance artists Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Violeta Luna, Michelle Ceballos, and Roberto Sifuentes; curators Gabriela Salgado and Orlando Britto; and over thirty associates worldwide in countries such as Mexico, Spain, the UK, and Australia. Projects range from performance solos and duets to large-scale performance installations including video, photography, audio, and cyber-art. La Pocha collaborates across national borders, race, gender and generations. Their collaborative model functions both as an act of citizen diplomacy and as a means to create ephemeral communities of like-minded rebels. The basic premise of these collaborations is founded on an ideal: If we learn to cross borders on stage, we may learn how to do so in larger social spheres. La Pocha strives to eradicate myths of purity and dissolve borders surrounding culture, ethnicity, gender, language, and métier. These are radical acts.
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Copyright Holder: Guillermo Gómez-Peña & La Pocha Nostra
Contact: Guillermo Gómez-Peña
Guillermo Gómez-Peña
La Pocha Nostra
2857 24th Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Phone(Business): +1-925-878-9345