The Mex Files: A Divination Ritual

Guillermo Gómez-Peña & Balitrónica

Presented by La Pocha Nostra and 500 Capp street


Thursday, August 3, 2023

Doors open at 6:30pm. Performance starts at 7pm. Duration 1 hour 

Tickets are on a sliding scale basis starting at $30

No one turned away due to lack of funds, please contact

La Pocha Nostra’s Artistic Directors Balitrónica and Gómez-Peña will present a duet performance featuring excerpts from their most recent performance manuscripts and bank of ritual actions. Utilizing a casino roulette and several tarot decks, Balitrónica will use various forms of oracular magic to select spoken word texts and props for Gómez-Peña’s live performance. The fate of the script and the performance are determined by methods of divination, chance, and direct contact with the spirits that be at the dining room of 500 Capp Street.

Also on view in the Dining Room starting August 3rd is an evolving exhibition of selected objects from Gomez-Peña’s own “living archives” arranged in dialog with the eclectic collection already inhabiting the room. Curated by Emma Tramposch (La Pocha Nostra’s Executive Director and Curator of the Living Archives) and Lian Ladia (Curator, Exhibitions and Programs, 500 Capp Street). Both partners have been investigating topics vital to a current conversation about decolonization and the nature and future of museums and collecting—including who is served and represented by museums, what it means to curate an archive for artistic reinvention, political dialog and spiritual survival.

photo by Piero Viti.

About the Artists

Guillermo Gómez-Peña is a performance artist, writer, activist, radical pedagogue and artistic director of the performance troupe La Pocha Nostra. Born in Mexico City, he moved to the US in 1978, and since 1995, his three homes have been San Francisco, Mexico City and the “road”.

His performance work and 21 books have contributed to the debates on cultural, generational, and gender diversity, border culture and North-South relations. His artwork has been presented at over one thousand venues across the US, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Russia, South Africa and Australia. A MacArthur Fellow, USA Artists Fellow, and a Bessie, Guggenheim, and American Book Award recipient, he is a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines in the US, Mexico, and Europe and a contributing editor to The Drama Review (NYU-MIT), the Performance Art Week Journal of the Venice Biennale, and emisférica, the publication of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics (NYU). Gómez-Peña is currently a Patron for the London-based Live Art Development Agency, and a Senior Fellow in the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics.

Balitrónica (US/Mexico) Artistic Co-Director, Priestess & Psychomagic Occultist. Balitrónica is a cyborg-feminist poet, performance artist, hereditary witch, 2nd Degree, Cabot Priestess, and co-Artistic director of La Pocha Nostra. Since joining La Pocha Nostra, she has made a full-time performance practice that explores the ideas of ritual psychomagic acts, occult methods of transcendence, and the human body as conduit. In addition to her formal training in musical theater and Victorian literature, she holds an MFA in Poetry from Mills College. Her performance work has been largely influenced by her time spent living in a 17th Century Catholic Convent in Paris with a Dominican Order of Nuns. Balitrónica has been touring internationally with Gómez-Peña since 2013 and currently resides between San Francisco, Mexico City, and the San Diego/Tijuana Border.

The Mex Files: A Divination Ritual would not be possible without the support of Tieger Foundation and La Pocha Nostra.