A significant amount of the hand-drawn animation seen on television today is cartooned in sweatshop-like animation factories in Korea, China, and the Philippines. The writers and animators who form Animaquiladora sharpened their skills in one such factory located in Tijuana, Mexico. After years of animating logos for the American talk show Regis and Kathie Lee, Lalo Lopez and Alex Rivera escaped from the hellish sweatshop of Tijuana to seek better lives in Los Angeles and New York.
Luis Cruz Azaceta (b.1942) creates paintings and mixed media works which use the recurring theme of the displaced individual. Marked by his own exile from Cuba—he emigrated to the U.S. in 1960, in the wake of Castro’s take-over—the artist realized that home is something he carries with him from place to place. Through his piercing expressionism, Azaceta depicts the frailty of human existence in a world full of social anarchy, historically mandated violence, and natural chaos.
The videos in this program invite the viewer to reconsider assumptions about regional and personal identity by offering a wide sampling of portraits: a group portrait, a street portrait, a family portrait, a self-portrait, a portrait of portraiture, and even a non-portrait. The diversity of these representations is as broad as the cultural and historical circumstances that have shaped the many cultures within Latin American and U.S. Latino/a communities.
Martin Sorrondeguy, former vocalist for Los Crudos, produced this powerful and uplifting documentary about the U.S. Latino punk scene and the DIY movement. The video features live performances by bands, including Huasinpungo, Los Crudos, Subsistencia, Sbitch, and many more.
An Anthology of Collaborative Works by Guillermo Gómez-Peña
This "conceptual package" of collaborative videos and writings by leading theorists is a unique opportunity for students, artists and educators to explore the psyche, experimental aesthetics, activist ethos and spiritual cosmology of legendary rebel artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña.
Isaac Artenstein, Adriene Jenik, Patrick Litchy, Jethro Rothe-Kushel, Daniel Salazar, Henry Sayre & Sandy Brooke, Roberto Sifuentes, Liz Singer, Gustavo Vazquez
Sitting at an altar decorated with a kitsch collection of cultural fetish items, and wearing a border patrolman’s jacket decorated with buttons, bananas, beads, and shells, Gómez-Peña delivers a sly and bitter indictment of U.S. colonial attitudes toward Mexican culture and history.
This strange, lyrical performance video diary is a millennial reflection on the impossibility to "reveal" one’s self in stormy times such as ours. The piece is also about the intricate connections between performance and everyday life; about language, identity, love, nostalgia and activism amidst the California apocalypse.
In 2002, my troupe, La Pocha Nostra and I were invited to conduct a workshop at Columbia College in Chicago with 15 students and faculty from different departments. At the end of the two-week workshop, we created a large-scale performance-installation with the participants. Canadian video artist Liz Singer was invited to shoot the entire process, from the early workshop exercises, meant to connect students with their bodies and build a sense of community, up to opening night... In this documentary we reveal the working methods and radical pedagogy of La Pocha Nostra.
Veronica Majano depicts the character of a street in the Mission District of San Francisco. This street is personified as a fifteen year old Salvadoran/Ohlone girl on a search to understand the changes brought on by colonization, dislocation, and more recently, gentrification. Tracing the history of the Mission from its first residents, the Ohlone Indians, Chula explores the effects of re-colonization on memory and memory loss. For Chula, memory loss is a birthmark that was passed down to her from her ancestors.
Spanish painter Chema Cobo discusses his early years of studying and creating art in Southern Spain. His career began in the mid-1970s, exhibiting at the Buades and Vandrés galleries, along with a generation of now-established artists. His work began showing outside of Spain in the ’80s. Cobo also talks about the ways that his Spanish background and identity have informed his work.
A historical interview originally recorded in 1994.
"Emptiness: I just watched your latest video, Colchones Individuales (Single Beds), Volume 1: Desolacion, and I wanted to write you about it. Oddly, Single Beds sums up much of what I have been thinking lately. In these times of speed, where everything is propelled forward at an incredibly spiraling rate, it is only in moments of pause, of inertia, that we examine what is occurring to us. Your piece, Single Beds, performs an arrested time, a succinct suspension of time. (It is in many ways a companion piece to an earlier video of yours Staying Alive).
In this political satire featuring the comedy trio Culture Clash, sharp dialogue, physical comedy, and state of the art video techniques are used to dramatize a mock trial of Columbus in a present-day courtroom. With a “Spanish-by-way-of-Mexico” judge presiding, Columbus on Trial hits on the complexities of Latino identity in America while slicing into the kitschy consumer icons and buzzwords that stand for racial and ethnic identity in contemporary society.
In this humorous short, Astrid Hadad, dressed in traditional folkloric costumes and religious garments, sings and performs to a Chilean love ballad before a painterly background of fantastic landscapes. Her hyperbolic posturings enact the song’s tale of a woman’s heartbreak. This satirical presentation of femininity references pathos and the role of the victim. Cuevas’s use of animation and video montage adds a playful tone to the heartfelt melodrama of love songs, familiar touchstones in all cultures.
In a series of 1992 performances, Coco Fusco and performance co-creator Guillermo Gómez-Peña decked themselves out in primitive costumes and appeared before the public as “undiscovered AmerIndians” locked in a golden cage—an exercise in faux anthropology based on racist images of natives. Presented eight times in four different countries, these simple performances evoked various responses, the most startling being the huge numbers of people who didn’t find the idea of “natives” locked in a cage objectionable.
"If there's something big, big that you want to reach for, you begin by dreaming." —Ivonne and Ivette
"The discomfort in Sleepworld Volume 1 is that of being oneself. The videos included here look at who we are and what we imagine we are. They are experiments in appearances, about the use of artifice to improve life or hide it. It is a reflection on moral displacement, hypocrisy, self-contained dreams, self-loathing, self-destruction in order to repeatedly kill our dreams.