HISTORICAL NARRATIVE AS MEDIUM
2015—through the present
Looking at the shift from the 60s to the 70s in humor stylizations: in network variety shows, stand-up acts, and cartoons and jokes in printed matter.
Examining pedagogy and cinema: in particular the relationship of the two from 1955, the year Sidney Poitier had his first breakthrough role as a student in a Bronx school of juvenile delinquent boys in Blackboard Jungle, through 1967, when that same actor was at the top of his game, playing a teacher in a script that borrowed the same formatting. For one of the projects in this chapter Alvarez is collaborating again with writer Kevin Killian and the San Francisco Poet’s Theater.
Teaching, cooking, and embracing the aesthetics of photo-copied punk flyers from the 80s, as well as the shifts in the cultural scene in New York from 1978 to 1983.
Working on a series of solo and collaborative projects focused on the effects on Los Angeles specifically, and California in general, of the infamous Tate-Labianca murders, which gave the Sixties such a brutally symbolic ending in August 1969.
Under the collaborative name, PP, Alvarez and fellow Berliner Gwenaël Rattke created a series of installations, curated film evenings, launched the first ever Porno Karaoke, did a poster project, produced various printed matter, and co-authored a play about musician and pastry chef Klaus Nomi with Kevin Killian, which was performed by the San Francisco Poets Theater.
A preoccupation with urbanites' relationship with nature, and specifically with how public parks double as gay cruising sites—as well as the history of those relationships (between the non-sexual park goers and the cruisers, the park and its visitors, etc.)—was the muse for many of the drawings and Super-8 films created in this time frame.
Alvarez's earliest works were time-based performances going from three hours to three months.
This background continues to inform and resurface throughout the span of his art-making.