Veronica Gonzalez Peña

Blank

Adjunct Faculty

I am a writer and filmmaker. I'm the author of twin time: or how death befell me (semiotext(e), 2007), winner of the Aztlán Literary Prize, the novel The Sad Passion (semiotext(e), 2013), and a book on the Mexican drug war, So Far From God (Whitney publications, 2014). My film Pat Steir: Artist (2019) has been called intimate and revelatory, and will be available on VOD in June 2020. I am currently working on a film about the conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner.

  • MA, English/Creative Writing, New York University, 1994
  • BA, Art History/Criticism, University of California, 1990

Contact

Course Sampling

  • Literature in the Expanded Field

Areas of Expertise

  • Experimental Writing
  • Modernist and Contemporary Literature
  • Conceptual Art
  • Film Theory
  • Film Production

Biography

I'm a Mexican born novelist /filmmaker, author of the award winning novel, Twin Time: or, how death befell me, and an acclaimed second novel, The Sad Passions, both of which take on issues of cross-cultural identity, gender violence, and trans-generational trauma. My novels have been called poetic, visual, and deeply moving in publications such as Oprah Magazine, The LA Times, and The Los Angeles Literary Review. My booklet on the Mexican drug war, So Far From God, was included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial as part of semiotext(e) exhibition and my stories and essays have been widely published.
In my films I'm primarily interested in challenging preconceived ideas around women's stories. My fictional film, CORDELIA, for instance, is a contemporary re-telling of King Lear, from the abandoned daughter's POV. In my version I include the missing Queen Lear, through a mythic enactment in the form of the painter, Pat Steir. As Queen Lear, Steir both directly and metaphorically speaks to the missing Queen in Shakespeare's play.

My approach to filmmaking is highly collaborative, yet driven by a singular and strong artistic vision. Before becoming a novelist, I studied art history and this visual arts background deeply informs all of my work. In addition to writing novels, I spent over a decade bringing artists and writers together to produce collaborative books and prints, before moving into film. In film I have been able to merge all of my interests: collaboration, storytelling, and visual arts, including art history, while continuing to work with the artists and writers I most admires. To date the actors in my films have included Michel Auder, Chris Kraus, Pat Steir, Douglas Gordon and Sylvere Lotringer. I have also worked with Charlotte Rampling, who starred in my original play, Neck of the Woods, which is a re-telling of the Little Red Riding Hood story, through the lens of Freud's Wolfman, from the POV of the grown up girl. It premiered at the Manchester International Festival July, 2015.

My fourth film Pat Steir: Artist premiered at Lincoln Center as part of the Jewish Film Festival. It has screened at The Hirshhorn Museum, The Barnes Foundation, Art Basel, Art 21 and Princeton University, and is currently available on Video on Demand, including iTunes and amazon. I am currently working on a film about the artist Lawrence Weiner. narrated from the POV of Alice Zimmerman Weiner; the film functions as a poetic visual story which subtly but powerfully highlights the oft-hidden woman's voice.

Research

  • Experimental Writing
  • Modernist and Contemporary Literature
  • Conceptual Art
  • Film Theory
  • Film Production
  • Psychoanalysis

Publications

Novels

  • The Sad Passions. New York: Semiotext(e)/MIT, 2013.
  • Twin Time: or, how death befell me. New York: Semiotext(e)/MIT, 2007.

Narrative Non-Fiction

  • So Far From God. New York: Semiotext(e)/Whitney Publications Whitney Biennial, November, 2014.

Short Stories

  • "In the Dream," Entropy, October, 2015.
  • "Marta." [out of nothing] Winter, 2010/11. http://outofnothing.org
  • "Sofia." Slake, Spring 2011.
  • "Name Two Things." Animal Shelter: semiotext(e), Winter 2010.

Reviews/Essays

  • "So Close to the United States." Los Angeles Review of Books,BLARB, March 16, 2017. https://blog.lareviewofbooks.org/essays/close-united-states/
  • "In the In-Between." Mark Handforth: Drop Shadow. Paris: The Modern Institute, 2014.
  • "Mourning and Melancholia: Francisco Goldman's Say Her Name." Los Angeles Review of Books, 2011.