San Juan, Puerto Rico
January 11, 2021 – April 30, 2021
Hidrante is pleased to present P.E.P.O.S.A., Pepe Álvarez Colón’s residency and exhibition-in-process.
P.E.P.O.S.A. is a theoretical/practical research project that studies the history and development of dance and performance improvisation in Puerto Rico—particularly in the San Juan metropolitan area—and traces this trajectory through the practices of three generations of dancers and performers. During his residency, the artist will use Hidrante’s space as an improvisation laboratory and an archive in process to collect, accumulate, and generate historical documents related to Puerto Rican performance; while in a public and sometimes intimate way he will activate artistic methods and procedures to conduct ethnographic field work, consult historical archives, conduct interviews and provoke conversations around themes, events or practices related to performance. There he will invite artists, colleagues and friends to improvise with him to talk about their practices.
From his body—as a primary means of work and study—Pepe Álvarez Colón again pursues a capricious, crooked, excessive, ineffable and self-indulgent desire for his self/persona to unleash questions about gender, identity, sexuality and politics. His artistic and academic work follows transdisciplinary procedures with which he has developed artistic courses and workshops under the concept entremedios/in-betweeness. In this way, his practice crosses the disciplines of dance, theater, performing arts, performance, and video; while he follows a research methodology that establishes links between the practice of art, critical theory and cultural history.
Pepe Álvarez Colón is a Puerto Rican artist and interdisciplinary researcher who lives and works in Chicago, US. He is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Performance Studies at Northwestern University and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Puerto Rico and a Master’s degree in Theater and Living Arts from the National University of Colombia. His doctoral research project examines the history of Puerto Rico’s experimental dance, in particular, looking at the practices, aesthetics, and socio-political frameworks of dance improvisation in the context of Puerto Rico’s four decades of economic crisis. Along with his ongoing examination and compilation of Puerto Rico’s experimental dance, theater, and performing art history, he is actively working as one of the co-principal investigators in the Northwestern University PRAI Puerto Rican Arts Development Initiative (2018 -2020) sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This exhibition is possible thanks to the support of El Serrucho 2020, Beta-Local; Northwestern University; and NADA Gallery Relief Fund, New Art Dealers Alliance.