By Jon Vitale
Elm Staff Writer
On March 5, campus hosted artist Hoesy Corona at Kohl Gallery in the Gibson Center for the Arts, featuring his new multimedia performance and installation, titled “Alie[N]ation”.
The exhibit’s aim, according to the event description, was to consider “hyperbolized alien tropes, xenophobic language, and the archetype of the scapegoat in contemporary discourse.”
The gallery was decorated with many different works of interpretative art of all different colors and styles. Most of them had the letters of the word “white” scattered around in various artistic ways. Near the rear of the gallery, there were statement posters, directly implying the mes0sage of the exhibition.
On one end of the room, the canvas read “Whiteness is a verb,” while on the other side there were two canvases. One read “Are you alien or are you human?” and the other said “Who is considered alien in the USA and who is considered human?” These messages were the core of the exhibit. In the center of the room, one performer stood relatively still, clad in vibrant, multicolor fabric, which was displayed as the performer slowly rotated and stretched the fabric in different ways.
“I imagine it was a representation of multiculturalism,” junior Alex Ramos said.
For the main performance of Corona’s exhibit, the primary performer, clad in a wide array of fabrics and plastics, emerged from behind one of the walls at the back of the room and took stage in a front corner of the gallery. Then, circling the area, the performer posed the exhibit’s central message to the audience, repeatedly asking the audience: “Are you an alien? Or are you a human? What makes you an alien, and what makes you a human in the United States?” The audience remained in a captivated silence for the duration of the performance.
“It’s putting into movement, and color, the issues of being another, and living in the United States, and how you react to that feeling,” said Assistant Professor of Spanish Martin Ponti.
The message of the performance connected with several of the attendees.
“The definition of an alien in this exhibit encompassed so many more people than I thought it would,” senior Rachel Treglia, who found the performance particularly striking, said. She also noted the design of the exhibit as it related to the performance, saying, “The color is really focused on the costumes of the performers, so they stand out, and they don’t move much, but when they do, even the small movements feel big.”
Corona specializes in art that utilizes color to express messages with greater meanings. The performance continued for an hour as the exhibition was opened up to all the patrons.
While the performance was, as Ramos described it, “straightforward,” it spoke volumes.
“I still think it’s great that the message is being put out there, and I feel that this performance really did a job of hammering it in to the people who came out to see it,” Ramos said.