In this new performance-lecture, the Chicano performance artist-activist, Harry Gamboa Jr., looks at the notion of myth in contemporary society with images and videos of his work. For more than forty years, his artistic focus has been aimed at the Los Angeles “urbanscape” with its subtle layering of codes, rules, and visual markers that contribute to making a sophisticated living space for millions of people. He discusses the various creations that he’s directed with his current performance troupe, Virtual Vérité, and earlier works (1970s and 1980s) with Asco, the young and pioneering group of Chicano artists who produced new methods of art making in bold and public ways.
Often with a strong dose of subversive humor, many of Gamboa’s works are publically staged narratives performed for still photography, video and an immediate live audience. Most of the works are never announced beforehand nor advertised in any way and are usually presented via scholarly publications, mass media, the internet, and word-of-mouth.
Illusions of Urbanscape is part of Till Now: Contemporary Art in Context, a year-long speaker series hosted by the University of Houston School of Art and the Blaffer Art Museum that brings together leading voices in the field of contemporary art.