Arts » Arts Etc.

SHOWMAN SHAMAN

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"I am a performance artist, therefore I am weird," declares Jose Torres Tama. But those who write off performance artists
 
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Jose Torres Tama.
as "weird for weird's sake" should re-examine Tama. "I satirize the genre," he explains of his absurdly hilarious performance piece, In Exile Close to the Equator. "There's a lot of self-referential material."

Aside from the unconventional and disjointed nature of his performances, Tama does have a message to communicate: "I'm dealing with issues people may not want to hear." Using pop culture iconography and the body as a sculptural tool, Tama humorously deconstructs consumer culture and explores the role of spirituality in that culture. "I was an alter boy. I refer to those as my first performances."

Tama also expresses a sincere need to "initiate dialogue with my work and be instrumental in raising consciousness for social change," adding that "We're still dealing with a major dialogue

IN EXILE CLOSE TO THE EQUATOR
Featuring Jose Torres Tama
8pm Friday, May 16
Saturday, May 17
$10 adults
$8 students & seniors
Jump-Start Theater
110 Blue Star
227-JUMP
of race relations and social change in our country."

Ultimately, his work strives to answer the question: How does one deal with the difficulties of life as a Latino? "The fact that I'm there is already an act of social change," Tama says of invitations to perform at schools such as Duke University and Cornell, colleges he says he could never have afforded to attend. He sees half of his role in social change is making his presence known and announcing "Look at the intellectual capacity we have!" to those who are familiar with Latinos only as stereotypes.

"I'm also a pioneer for the genre trying to go where no other Latino has had a chance to go. There I go quoting Captain Kirk." Armed with pop culture, humor, and a message, Tama takes on his next frontier, Jump-Start Theater.


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