El Museo del Barrio

Papo Colo
Superman 51, 1977
Gelatin silver print
Image: 40 x 29 1/8 in. (101.6 x 74 cm)
Collection of El Museo del Barrio, NY
Gift of the artist with additional support from
“PROARTISTA: Sustaining the Work of Living Contemporary
Artists,” a fund from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Trust, 2003.18.5
Photo Courtesy of the Artist

April 7, 2008

Landmark Exhibition at El Museo del Barrio Highlights Performative Actions by Over 100 Latino / Latin American Artists

Visual Arts Public Programs

El Museo del Barrio, New York’s premier Latino and Latin American cultural institution, is pleased to invite the public to several upcoming programs related to its groundbreaking exhibition Arte ≠ Vida: Actions by Artists of the Americas, 1960 – 2000, which will be on view through May 18, 2008. “Arte no es vida” surveys, for the first time ever, the vast array of performative actions created over the last half century by Latino artists in the United States and by artists working in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Mexico, Central and South America. Through a rich and lively presentation of photographs, video, texts, ephemera, props, and artworks, the exhibition represents a landmark within the documentation of action art. Arte ≠ Vida expands standard descriptions of “performance art,” revealing how work created by Caribbean, Latino and Latin American artists is often not only dramatized but politicized. Curated by Deborah Cullen, Director of Curatorial Programs at El Museo del Barrio, Arte ≠ Vida is the recipient of a prestigious 2006 Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award.

Over 100 artists and collectives are represented in Arte ≠ Vida, including ASCO, Tania Bruguera, CADA, Lygia Clark, Papo Colo, Juan Downey, Rafael Ferrer, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Alberto Greco, Alfredo Jaar, Tony Labat, Ana Mendieta, Marta Minujin, Raphael Montañez-Ortiz, Hélio Oiticica, Tunga and contemporary practitioners including Francis Alÿs, Coco Fusco, Regina José Galindo, Teresa Margolles and Santiago Sierra. Public programs offered in conjunction with the exhibition include:

An Evening of Spoken Word Roulette and Critical Theory with Guillermo Gómez-Peña
Tuesday, April 22, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
New York University. Jurow Hall, Silver Center, 100 Washington Square East

Guillermo Gómez-Peña will present a lecture at New York University in which he will examine the role of artists working against the backdrop of war, censorship, cultural paranoia and spiritual despair. In his lecture, Gómez-Peña will ask: What are the new roles that artists undertake? Where are the new borders between the accepted and the forbidden? Is art still a pertinent form of inquiry and contestation? This lecture will be the inaugural public event of the Institute’s EMERGENYC and Hemispheric New York programs. Presented in collaboration with El Museo del Barrio. Admission: Free. For more information, e-mail

El Mexorcist 3: America’s Most Wanted Inner Demon
Wednesday, April 23, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Teatro Heckscher at El Museo del Barrio. 1230 Fifth Avenue at 104th Street

An artist included in Arte ≠ Vida, Gómez-Peña presents this performance in which he assaults the demonized construction of the US/Mexican border – a literal and symbolic zone lined with Minute Men, rising nativism, three-ply fences, globalization and transnational indentities. To this effect, the “border artist extraordinaire” uses acid Chicano humor, hybrid literary genres, multilingualism, and activist theory as subversive strategies. In this journey to the geographical and psychological outposts of Chicanismo, Gómez-Peña also reflects on identity, race, sexuality, pop culture, politics and the impact of new technologies in the post-9/11 era. Presented in collaboration with the Hemispheric Institute’s EMERGENYC program. Admission: Free. For advance registration e-mail

Arte ≠ Vida: Book Presentation
Wednesday, May 8, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Avenue at 104th Street

El Museo is publishing a lavishly illustrated, bilingual resource book to accompany the exhibition. The publication provides a chronological overview, and a selection of essays by experts on the field addressing the ten regions represented in the exhibition in depth. Gabriela Rangel, Director of Visual Arts, The Americas Society; Robert Neustadt, Professor, Northen Arizona University; Claudia Calirman, Professor, Parsons School of Design and The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Elvis Fuentes, Curator, El Museo del Barrio; and other invited scholars join Deborah Cullen on a panel that will explore the many themes of the exhibition as presented in the catalogue. To purchase the book, available in May, please contact El Museo’s Shop at 212 831 7272 x130. Admission: Free. For advance registration e-mail

Arte ≠ Vida: Actions by Artists of the Americas, 1960 – 2000 is made possible by an Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award and by the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Trust. Exhibition programs are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts. Media sponsorship has been provided by Univision 41 / Telefutura 68.

El Museo del Barrio
1230 Fifth Avenue between 104th and 105th Streets
New York, NY 10029

Museum Hours:
Wednesday – Sunday, 11AM to 5PM. Closed on Monday and Tuesday.

By subway: #6 to 103rd Street Station, #2, #3 to Central Park North/110th Street station
By bus: M1, M3, M4 on Madison and Fifth Avenues to 104th Street; local crosstown service between Yorkville or East Harlem and the Upper West Side in Manhattan M96 and M106 or M2.

El Museo del Barrio
April 7, 2008

Thank you for your RSVP.

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