Temple of Confessions (1996) Pre-performance street intervention

Temple of Confessions (1996) Pre-performance street intervention HIDVL

As a pre-performance strategy for advertising their upcoming The Temple of Confessions performance/installation, La Pocha Nostra conducts a series of interventions in Detroit's public space. Two "end-of-the-century saints," in search of sanctuary across the United States while gathering confessions on intercultural fears and desires, take on key politically relevant or visually interesting public sites. "El Pre-Columbian Vato" or "holy gang member" (performed by Roberto Sifuentes) and "San Pocho Aztlaneca" (a "hyper-exoticied curio shop shaman for spiritual tourists" performed by Guillermo Gómez-Peña) are walked in leashes by "corporate dominatrix" Michelle Ceballos and tended by "chola/nun" Norma Medina; in this fashion, they visit an array of public places, from a financial/downtown district fancy café, to the US-Canada border, always followed by an entourage of photographers and videographers from the local media that document their "pilgrimage." Through these performative irruptions in everyday life, La Pocha Nostra creates the means for provoking in the "Temple" prospective audience an aura of expectation, a bearing witness of a mythology of intercultural fears and desires; this, in turn, would broaden the diversity of the audience, and create a propitious environment for their upcoming "confessions."

 HIDVL Video Holdings

The Temple of Confessions Pre-Performance Street Intervention, Detroit (embedded below)
The Temple of Confessions (edited excerpts)


Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2333.1/8w9ghx98

Additional Info

  • Title: The Temple of Confessions (Pre-performance demonstration)
  • Holdings: video (HIDVL)
  • Duration: 01:40:29
  • Language: English, Spanish, Spanglish
  • Date: 1996
  • Location: Performed on streets and in buildings of Detroit, Michigan.
  • Type-Format: performance
  • Cast: Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Roberto Sifuentes, Norma Medina, Michelle Ceballos.
  • Credits: Guillermo Gómez-Peña, director, producer ; La Pocha Nostra, producer ; Detroit Institute of Fine Arts, producer ; video courtesy of the Detroit Institute of Fine Arts.