The New Barbarians: X-treme Fashion Show – Friday, August 10th, 9pm

Directed by:

Guillermo Gomez-Peña (Mexico) and Joan Wyand (RI) with Michelle Ceballos Michot (Colombia)

Friday, August 10th, 2012 at 9:00pm
95 Empire Black Box Theater
95 Empire Street, Providence, RI 02903
This coming Friday, August 10th, AS220 will be hosting a very special performance by 2012 Free Culture Award recipients Joan Wyand and Guillermo Gomez-Peña, along with La Pocha Nostra member Michelle Ceballos Michot and ten local artists. It will take place at AS220’s 95 Empire Black Box Theater, formerly Perishable Theater, which also houses AS220’s theater arts program and performing arts school – School@95.  The performance will be the culmination of a three day workshop with Gomez-Peña, Wyand, Ceballos and a group of ten Rhode Island-based artists.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased from AS220’s online shop. This will be a one night only event and seating is limited to 65, so hurry and reserve your space!

La Pocha Nostra, a radical performance troop founded by Guillermo Gómez Peña, has a history of appropriating popular cultural formats such as museum dioramas, the rave, reality TV, and sideshow attractions, then subverting them by changing the context and adding politicized content. For “The New Barbarians”, Gómez-Peña, Wyand, Ceballos, and ten local artists will appropriate the format of an X-treme fashion show featuring “designer primitives on the runaway runway.” This performance explores the bizarre relationship between the post-9/ 11 culture of xenophobia and the rampant fetishization of otherness by global pop culture. These personas will be developed during a three-day workshop in advance of the event. During the workshop Rhode Island-based artists will collaboratively work with the macabre performance trio through a series of exercises developed by La Pocha Nostra to encourage the use of the body as a site for creation, reinvention, and activism. “The New Barbarians” engages the audience with a variety of fashion-inspired highly stylized performance personas stemming from problematic media representations of foreigners, immigrants, and social eccentrics and outcasts, as both enemies of the state and sexy pop cultural rebels. Early in the piece it becomes clear that this is not your typical fashion show. In the process of presenting a line of “designer primitive” attire, what is unveiled is in fact a dramatic “human artifact.” The “show” is about politicized human bodies far more than clothing. What is actually being sold in the New Barbarians collection is a new designer hybrid identity and the human being as a product. The underlying theme is the need for the “First World” to come to terms with the Other outside and inside. The meta-fiction will be presented to the audience as both a hand program and a text spoken by Gómez-Peña.