La Pocha Nostra is a cross-disciplinary arts organization and non-profit based in San Francisco, California with branches in Central and South America, Europe, Asia and the South Pacific. La Pocha Nostra was founded in 1993 by Guillermo Gomez-Peña, Roberto Sifuentes, Michèle Ceballos Michot and Nola Mariano in Los Angeles. The goal was to formalize conceptually Gomez-Peña's collaborations with other performance artists. The troupe's projects range from performance solos and duets to large scale multi-sensory performance installations involving photo, video, sound and projection, to cross and erase dangerous borders including those between art and politics, art practice and theory, artist and spectator, ultimately to dissolve borders and myths of purity whether they be specific to culture, ethnicity, gender or language.

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Verena Stenke and Andrea Pagnes have been working together since 2006 as VestAndPage, creating live performances, performance-based films, performance visuals, and poetic writings, exploring performance art as phenomena through their collaborative creative practice, theoretical artistic research and curatorial projects. VestAndPage's art practice is contextual and situation-responsive, conceived psycho-geographically in response to social contexts, natural surroundings, historical sites and architectures. In a ‘Poetics of Relations’, they examine notions of temporalities, memory strata, communication and fragility of the individual and the collective within social and environmental spheres, applying the themes of trust in change, endurance, union, pain sublimation and risk-taking with a poetic bodily approach to art practice and a focus on universal human experiences. While encompassing a range of subtly different concepts, they primarily express VestAndPage's view on reality while adding or revealing poetic elements as a rebellion against the exercise of power and discrimination among human beings. VestAndPage have conceived and initiated theVENICE INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCE ART WEEK, an international live art exhibition projecttaking place in 2012, 2014 and2016 in Venice (IT), extensively presenting historic pioneer works on exhibit in conjunction with live programs of durational performances and educational activities.

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Born in Venice (IT) and based in Formentera (ES), Francesca Carol Rolla is an independent curator and PhD candidate in Visual Arts at the Doctoral School of Humanities of the University of Strasbourg (FR). Her research explores new contemporary approaches to artistic creation and reflection, there where the meaning and value for a responsible and independent co-authorship involves both artists and curators in co-creative processes. She has trained, worked and collaborated with artists such as Bill Viola, Alejandro Jodorowski, Marilyn Arsem, Preach R Sun, VestAndPage, Marcel·lí Antúnez Roca, Antonio Manuel, Guillermo Gomez-Peña and ORLAN, among others. Since 2014 she is an associate curator of the VENICE INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCE ART WEEK, and coordinator of its Educational Learning Program realized in collaboration with Live Arts Cultures and other international partner organizations. Since 2017, she is an honorary member of La Pocha Nostra. In 2017, Francesca Carol Rolla has co-curated with VestAndPage CO-CREATION LIVE FACTORY Prologue 1, the new project of the VENICE INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCE ART WEEK, founded on the principles of artistic collaboration, cooperation and temporary artistic community.

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I. Letters from Formentera



La Pocha Nostra, VestAndPage, Francesca Carol Rolla


Formentera, Balearic Islands (ES)

April 11-25, 2018





I felt I was dreaming with you when you told me your story.

Words would draw our space, cardinal markers of your imaginary world.

As a smoke sculpture that sound came to haunt memory and to speak our secrets. I wished it would not disappear.


I witnessed a voice that rules of rational knowledge would mute.

I had the feeling that something was left behind at the threshold of the sentences. Right there I could feel you.

I could enter with my imagination.

It thus became our story.


I therefore thought it might exist a yet unexplored way of writing. To leave traces of a word pronounced for a different image of the real.


And I had a vision. We were together.

We were at the far end of a long street, in a remote corner of an island.

In front of us, a lighthouse, sharply cutting the darkness.

A meaningful horizon, a poetic edgy path.

An ungraspable bright future would connect us.


I am asking you to write, performance artists, because to me writing is an act of freedom.

Drilling rocks and crossing oceans, words exist to remember and resist. To create, reclaim and renew.

And I saw you performing, finding the pulse in nature, trusting your voice within. Learning as you do.

Our story has to be told. Otherwise it dies.


And now I need us.

I need us to discover how fertile the textual border between performance art and the curatorial can be.

I need us to investigate possibilities and limits of co-creation processes, for everybody to be excited when working together.

I need us to explore different approaches, to challenge the crucial role of textual production for both our practices.


To enact a writing independent temporary community as a collaborative act – This I consider as the closing step of my PhD research about the curatorial, to textually respond to our time.

A journey that, starting from a theoretical investigation, now, through this project, opens the curatorial up to a new and broader performative dimension.


My vision was about this – us, walking forward.

Exploring the absolute unknown of a space where our practices finally converge.


Please join me in Formentera.


Francesca Carol Rolla