This freaky bastard is Guillermo Gomez Pena, a mexican performance artist who has greatly influenced me over recent years. His work confuses the way in which we think about culture by creating hybrid presentations of stereotyped identities. Pena has come up with 14 commandments for artists to follow. I kinda like them. Check it:
1. Work against formulas. If your art becomes easy to repeat, you are on the wrong path.
2. Challenge all forms of authority with an open and critical mind.
3. Share important information, like essays, hot websites, grant proposals, job applications etc.
4. Crossover with dignity into other territories (academia, the media, activism, etc)
5. Devote equal energy to work and play.
6. Be accessible to others.
7. Don't take yourself too seriously. Our work is both important and unimportant...like water.
8. Get your hands dirty; get involved in every aspect of production, from fundraising to designing lights and sound. Don't be a prince(ss).
9. Don't be a mindless bohemian. Always state your case, speak up, articulate your position, and engage in dialogue. If you don't speak for yourself, someone else will speak for you.
10. Support younger or less fortunate artists. Don't be selfish.
11. Keep your work seperate from your personal life. Never bring lovers or spouses to rehearsals or on tour. One day they will get jealous and set fire to your car.
12. Don't become sexually involved with your collaborators. Uncontrolled desire can turn the sanctuary of the collaborative process into hell for others.
13. Respect your elders and your predecessors. Treat us with tenderness, and then, when the time comes, kill us ritualistically.
14. Get involved with and make yourself useful to your local ethnic, gender-based or professional communities. if you don't have a foot on them, the wind will blow you away.
- Gomez Pena and his performance art group La Pocha Nostra have an off the hook website. You gotta see it...