Feb 272008
Authors: Kris Cote

With one foot in a high heel and one in a biker boot, Guillermo Gomez-Peña addressed a packed Lory Student Center Theatre Wednesday night.

The performance artist spoke on topics such as politics, racism and border culture in America.

Gomez-Peña is famous for his exotic performances that question pertinent issues faced by the country today.

His performance Wednesday night fit right in with his reputation.

Donning a blend of women and men’s clothing, he blurred the lines of convention in order to focus onto the issues of border culture he wanted to address.

Constantly switching languages from English to Spanish during his monologue, Gomez-Peña constantly engaged the audience with his rapid and aggressive dialogue, keeping them entertained throughout the night.

“I loved it,” Kyle Olsen, a junior graphic design major, said. “The humor and everything really helped to make people think.”

Olsen added he was unsure of what to expect going into the show, but was glad he went.

“It was a humorously critical way of looking at culture and politics, he dealt with a lot of issues,” Olsen said. “I think it did a good job though of getting at what it means to be human.”

Gomez-Peña has become famous for his acts across the country and it showed in the audience who attended the show.

“We had people come down here from Denver and Boulder just to see his performance,” Mary-Ann Kokoska, a drawing professor, said.

Tristan Duke, an interdisciplinary studies major at Naropa University in Boulder, said that he had been studying Gomez-Peña for a while and was thrilled to find out he would be having a show in Colorado.

“It was an enjoyable, challenging and humorous show,” Duke said. “We drove an hour here for this but it was well worth it.”

Gomez-Peña explained in his show that while he thought being entertaining was important he thought it was more important for him to make people think.

“Some people say that performance artists are frustrated rockers, or that they’re bad enigmatic activists. I’m both,” He said.

“But it’s important that I ask these questions in original ways.”

Gomez-Peña will be holding a lecture tonight in the Lory Student Center Theatre, starting at 6 p.m.

The lecture will be more serious than Wednesday’s performance and will address more of the facts of the issues Gomez-Peña presents.

Staff writer Kris Cote can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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