Masterclass with Guillermo Gomez-Pena

“It is impossible to overstate the value of this masterclass both as a particular experience and in terms of the principles it represents”
Razia Aziz (musician/ poet)

“I left with a better sense of purpose and direction in my work and my role as an artist in the community within which I operate”
Leo Asemota (film-maker)


We are delighted to invite artists to participate in a free intensive four day performance masterclass with Guillermo Gomez-Pena, the acclaimed and award winning US based Mexican artist.

The masterclass is an exceptional opportunity for culturally diverse artists working in Live Art and new performance to explore collaborative and interdisciplinary approaches, look at new models of relationships between artist and activism and “explore cross-racial unity through experimental art”. The masterclass will specifically use the sophisticated methodologies and ideas behind Gomez-Pena's ongoing performance installation project Ex-Centris (A Living Diorama of Fetish-ized Others) as a stimulus for new approaches to performance based strategies around the representation of cultural difference.

The Guillermo Gomez-Pena masterclass has developed from moti roti and the Live Art Development Agency's training initiative Chameleon and is exclusively aimed at culturally diverse British based artists working in Live Art. Participants will be expected to have some experience in contemporary performance practices and a commitment to addressing complex issues around the representation of cultural difference. Guillermo Gomez-Pena previously led a highly influential masterclass for the Chameleon training programme in 2001.

Guillermo Gomez-Pena will be presenting Ex Centris as part of the Live Art Development Agency's Live Culture event at Tate Modern, a programme of performances, presentations and debates bringing together distinguished artists, curators and commentators (27 to 30 March 2003). For Tate Modern, Guillermo Gomez-Pena in collaboration with Juan Ybarra and Michelle Ceballos of La Pocha Nostra and British based artists, Kazuko Hohki and Ansuman Biswas will create an interactive museum of experimental ethnography: living dioramas of 'inter-cultural specimens' that parody colonial practices of representation.

The masterclass will be informed by the issues behind Ex Centris and it is possible that some participants will be invited to assist in the development of the performance installation at Tate Modern.
The masterclass is free.

Masterclass Dates:
Monday 17 to Thursday 20 March 2003
13.00 to 18.00 daily

Masterclass Venue:
Court Room
Artsadmin Toynbee Studios
28 Commercial Street
London E1 6LS
(nearest tube Aldgate East)

Places on the masterclass are limited to 8 and participants will be selected on an application basis. For an application form please contact the Live Art Development Agency on 0207 247 3339 or [email protected]. Application forms must be returned by Monday 10 February 2003. We will let you know whether we are able to invite you to participate in the masterclass by 17 February 2003.

Guillermo Gomez-Pena

Performance As Reverse Anthropology – A Lecture
Guillermo Gomez-Pena will be presenting an illustrated lecture at the British Museum on Friday 21 March 2003 at 6.30pm. This event is a collaboration between the Live Art Development Agency, the British Museum's Contemporary Arts and Culture Programme and Gabriela Salgado, curator of University of Essex Collection of Latin American Art (UECLAA).

BP Lecture Theatre
The British Museum
Great Russell Street
London WC1B 3DG
Tickets £5, concessions £3
Telephone the Box Office on 0207 323 8181 (10.00 – 17.30 daily)
Book online at


The masterclass with Guillermo Gomez-Pena has developed from Chameleon , a two year joint initiative between moti roti and the Live Art Development Agency (1999 – 2001). Funded through an Arts For Everyone Lottery Award, Chameleon was a professional development programme aimed exclusively at Asian and Black practitioners aspiring to engage with innovative and interdisciplinary performance practices. The achievements of Chameleon has informed and inspired approaches to the work of moti roti and the Live Art Development Agency, and each organisation continues to run innovative professional development programmes.

Guillermo Gomez-Pena

Born in 1955 and raised in Mexico City, Gomez-Pena moved to the US in 1978. His work, which includes performance art, video, audio, installations, poetry, journalism, and cultural theory, explores cross-cultural issues, immigration, the politics of language, “extreme culture” and new technologies to the national radio news magazine All Things Considered, a writer for newspapers and magazines in the U.S. and Mexico, and a contributing editor to The Drama Review (MIT). He has been described as “among the most significant of late-twentieth-century performance artists” (Village Voice) and “a peacemaker in the world's culture clash” (Vanity Fair).

The Guillermo Gomez-Pena masterclass, British Museum event and performances of Ex Centris as part of the Live Art Development Agency's Live Culture event at Tate Modern are financially assisted by the Arts Council of England's Visual Arts Department and London Arts. The masterclass is generously supported by Artsadmin. Ex Centris is collaboration with Liverpool Biennial, Bluecoat Arts Centre and was first presented at the Liverpool Biennial of International Art September 2002.

Banner image credit:

Guillermo Gómez-Peña, image courtesy of the artist

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