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may 232024
 

By Travis Diehl for The New York Times
May 23, 2024

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Confronting you head-on are a hanging flag, and a man in danger of hanging.

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The flag, unfurled vertically between two white structural columns in a gallery at El Museo del Barrio, resembles the stars and stripes of the United States, except the blue and red are black, and the white has been dyed a gristly pink — stained with blood, according to the exhibition materials, given by undocumented immigrants living in New York.

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The man is Carlos Martiel, an Afro-Cuban performance artist known for putting his body through grueling, painful trials while audiences watch. He’s not actually present in El Museo del Barrio: A large monitor leaning against the back wall, aligned with the flag, plays footage from a 2022 performance titled “Cuerpo” — body, in Spanish. Martiel is naked except for a rope, looped around his neck and attached to the ceiling of a gallery. A handful of people take turns shouldering his legs and propping up his back while he grimaces in the noose.

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These are the two strongest, most unsettling artworks in Martiel’s first major survey, also titled “Cuerpo,” in New York City, where he’s lived since 2012. The words “undocumented immigrants” in the written description of the flag work, “Insignia VII,” charge it with violence. The noose performance is tense, dynamic and uncertain, even from the safe distance of a video. You are dared to deny the suffering of the artist, or of those he stands for.

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The 16 performances represented in the gallery by videos, photographs and drawings include more than a decade of ordeals of endurance and self-mutilation, in which the often-stoic artist evokes the brutal history of colonialism, racism and enslavement. Martiel doesn’t intellectualize slavery’s wake; instead, he makes it terribly present, in the body of a living person: his own.

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A video of the earliest piece on view, “Prodigal Son,” from 2010, shows the artist pinning his father’s Cuban military medals to his naked chest. For “Continente,” from 2017, Martiel had nine small diamonds embedded in his skin, then he lay supine in a New York gallery while a white man sliced them out. In images of every successive work, you can see the marks left on Martiel’s body by the previous ones.

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You can only imagine Martiel’s pain; at El Museo, you also feel his absence. Seeing a photograph of Martiel standing with an armload of animal entrails (“Monument III,” 2021) is different from smelling that gore. Instead of sharing space with the artist, a viewer must relate to these bodily performances from the remove of pictures and sketches, as well as their first-person descriptions on the list of works.

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Here’s the explanation of “Monument II,” executed at the Guggenheim in 2021: “I stand handcuffed on a pedestal in the center of the museum’s rotunda. This work reflects on the structural racism and political and systemic violence historically suffered by the Black and immigrant body in the United States.” (Before he moved to New York, Martiel often reflected on the racial prejudice in Cuban society.)

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It’s damning to restage the auction block of a slave market in a museum lobby, a (literally and historically) “white” space dedicated to beautiful and provocative objects. Martiel’s posture is also dignified, erotic, a sardonic echo of the chiseled physiques of classical marbles on their plinths.

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But once the shock of these performance documents abates, you’re left with the work’s heavy metaphors — and images that, while horrible, are easier to stomach than the steady spectacle of Black and brown death in the news.

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This survey makes me miss the wry contradictions of “Untitled (Go-Go Dancing Platform),” by Félix González-Torres — another queer Cuban-born artist working in New York, who died in 1996 — in which a muscled man displayed on a blocklike stage wears tight shorts and a Walkman and dances to music only he can hear. His objectification is cut with joy. It makes me miss the perverse self-debasement of Pope.L, whose prone crawls through major cities invite the madcap uncertainty of an uncontrolled world, in a way that Martiel’s elegant symbolic presentations — which include digging a Mali sign for wisdom into a lawn using his teeth — don’t.

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There’s no mistaking the message, for example, in a photograph at El Museo of the 2019 performance “South Body,” in which the shaft of a small American flag pierces the skin of Martiel’s shoulder. It leaves a fat scar.

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And Martiel’s endurance performances seem undercut by the idea that — unlike the enslaved people being appraised in the markets of 18th-century New York — he could climb down from that pedestal at any moment. Eventually, that’s exactly what he did.

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Then again, free will is as essential as gut force to Martiel’s work — just as it is for the durational performances of EJ Hill, Nona Faustine, or Miles Greenberg, Black artists who similarly put themselves on public display in various states of nakedness and distress. By choosing his fate, Martiel pushes past simple victimhood, daring to represent every victim of racist violence — and pins the viewer in the position of every perpetrator or witness. Whether or not your skin color matches the pale pink stripes on Martiel’s flag. And if a man were really hanging from his neck, who would let him choke?

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(more info here)

may 152024
 
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Artadia, a non-profit grantmaking organization and nationwide community of visual artists, curators, and patrons, is thrilled to announce the recipients of the 2024 New York City Artadia Awards: American Artist, Carlos Martiel and Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya, the Bank of America Artadia Award recipient.

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The 2024 New York City Artadia Awards application was open to visual artists working in any visual media, at any stage in their career, who have been living and working within the five boroughs of New York City for a minimum of two years. We received 838 applications, with 62% of the applicants identifying as Black, Native American or Alaskan Native, Latinx, Asian, Arab, biracial or multiracial; 68% of applicants identify as women, gender nonconforming, or nonbinary; and 59% self-identify as emerging artists.

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The Awards decision was reached after an extensive two-tiered jurying process. This year’s finalists for the Awards included Bryan Fernandez, Miles Greenberg, and Glendalys Medina, selected by Round 1 jurors Taylor Jasper, Assistant Curator, Walker Art Center; Eileen Jeng Lynch, Director of Curatorial Programs, The Bronx Museum; and Xuxa Rodríguez, the Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher Curator of Contemporary Art, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.

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On being a part of the jurying panel, Rodríguez said, “Serving as an Artadia juror has been indescribably informative and rewarding. Being able to see work by hundreds of artists of all career stages working across a plethora of mediums within the review window is a deep dive into the contemporary art world’s core that no current survey course could possibly replicate. It affirms both the richness of the arts in our present moment as well how artists are vital to and an inextricable foundation of our social fabric.”

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All six finalists held virtual studio visits with jurors Eileen Jeng Lynch and Diana Nawi, Independent Curator.

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“We were struck both by the diversity of subject matter and aesthetics of these practices and by their shared threads. In different ways each explores collective and collaborative approaches to process, and each takes up social urgencies in their work, tracing the resonances and ramifications of history in our present moment,” remarked Lynch and Nawi. “It was an honor and a pleasure to participate on the jury to select the awardees and recognize artistic practices that offer us a means to critically reflect as well as to imagine the possibility of change. We encountered many powerful artistic voices throughout this process, a testament to the vibrancy of the city and polyphonic nature of New York’s arts community.”

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(more info here)

may 062024
 
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In this special commission for Frieze Week New York 2024, photographer and director Tess Ayano shoots five outstanding New York performers.

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For the 2021 performance Monumento II, Carlos Martiel stood for two hours on a pedestal in the rotunda of the Guggenheim: naked, handcuffed and immobile, a living memorial to injustice. Born in Havana, Martiel has taken part in biennials from Venice to Vancouver, Cuenca to Casablanca, but this May sees the Cuban American artist’s New York homecoming with “Cuerpo” at El Museo del Barrio. His first solo exhibition in the city, the survey details the artist’s commitment to intensive, durational performance and efforts to make the operations of power viscerally apparent: in 2023’s Nobody, a flagpole becomes a whipping post. “Cuerpo” results from Martiel’s receipt of the Maestro Dobel Latinx Prize, supported by Maestro Dobel Tequila.

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(more info here)

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FRIEZE, New York.

mar 212024
 

El Goethe-Institut Mexiko y el Museo de Arte Moderno en la Ciudad de México serán los sedes de este proyecto de performance del 02 al 06 de abril.

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“inSURrecciones, Reflexiones en torno a performatividades decoloniales”, ciclo creado bajo la curaduría de Gabriel Yépez, intenta abrir una fisura en la producción artística basada en un modelo neoliberal para reflexionar desde el Sur global, sobre los procesos creativos que utilizan las prácticas performativas como estrategia lingüística para nombrarse y nombrar la otredad desde una perspectiva decolonial.

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Para llevar a cabo esta tarea, convocamos a un grupo de especialistas de las artes vivas a una reflexión colectiva para poner en diálogo algunas de las prácticas performativas de creadorxs suramericanxs que, dentro de los últimos años, y situadxs en el territorio de Abya Yala, han impactado poética y políticamente en su entorno.

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El ciclo está integrado por tres proyecciones de archivo fílmico, un encuentro teórico de cuatro sesiones titulado “Enceuntro inSURrecto” y seis presentaciones de performances creadas de manera específica bajo el concepto de insurrección desde el sur del continente americano. Con el objetivo de tejer líneas de pensamiento común, el programa iniciará con la proyección del largometraje “Revolución puta” de la creadora y activista boliviana María Galindo en el auditorio del Goethe-Institut Mexiko. Posterior a esta primera detonación insurrecta, en el mismo auditorio, realizaremos el “Encuentro inSURrecto”, coordinado por Gabriel Yépez, en el que lxs investigadores y especialistas Paola Marugán, Antonio Prieto Stambaugh, Paulina Chamorro, Eduardo Bernal, Mónica Ornelas, Jesús Torrivilla, Didanwee Kent y Jorge A. Sánchez, reflexionarán sobre algunos Archivos expuestos, de los creadorxs seleccionados para este encuentro y de otros performers de la región. Estas cuatro sesiones de reflexión serán abiertas al público interesado previa inscripción y culminarán, cada día y hasta el sábado, con la presentación de las “Performances inSURrectas” realizadas especialmente para este ciclo a cargo de Carlos Cruz (México), Lukas Avendaño (México), Martha Hincapié Charry (Colombia), Deborah Castillo (Venezuela), María Galindo (Bolivia) y Carlos Martiel (Cuba).

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Como memoria de este ciclo de reflexión, se creará un micrositio que permanecerá abierto a consulta libre en línea, a manera de archivo y repositorio, e incluirá materiales de las performances presentadas y los ensayos teóricos de los investigadorxs invitadxs a este diálogo.

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Este evento es realizado con financiamiento del proyecto “Despojos en las Américas: la extracción de cuerpos, territorio, y herencia cultural desde la Conquista hasta el presente” de la iniciativa “Futuros Justos” de la Universidad de Pensilvania y Fundación Mellon.

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Junto a la Fundación Mellon administrada por la Universidad de Pennsylvania y el Museo de Arte Moderno, CDMX, este proyecto cuenta con el apoyo del Goethe-Institut Mexiko, TLS, Transversales (Proyecto realizado con apoyo del Sistema de Apoyos a la Creación y Proyectos Culturales – SACPC) y Anfora studio.

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(más info aquí)

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Museo de Arte Moderno | Av. P.º de la Reforma s/n, Bosque de Chapultepec I Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11580 Ciudad de México, México

feb 222024
 

May 2 to September 1, 2024

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El Museo del Barrio is proud to present the first solo exhibition in a New York City museum of Carlos Martiel, the inaugural recipient of the Maestro Dobel Latinx Art Prize.

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This groundbreaking survey, on view from May 2 to September 1, 2024, encapsulates Martiel’s performance-based practice of nearly two decades. Employing his body as a primary medium, Martiel utilizes endurance performances in both public and gallery spaces to delve into the complex legacies of colonialism on race, labor, and migration. The exhibition features a selection of the artist’s most significant projects to date, bringing together different spaces and temporalities through preparatory drawings, photographs, and videos, as well as the remains of past sculptural performances, in dialog with El Museo’s multidisciplinary project space, Room 110.

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Carlos Martiel has been a prominent figure in the New York art scene for the past decade. However, his practice transcends strict geographic limits, responding to different political and cultural contexts. His approach pushes the limits of self-expression to explore the impact of systems of oppression on BIPOC and Latinx communities. This survey exhibition marks his return to the institution since his debut in La Trienal, in which Martiel presented the first version of his acclaimed Monuments series. Since then, additional iterations of this ongoing work have been performed in New York, Dakar, and Mexico City, all of which will be included as part of the El Museo del Barrio presentation.

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This exhibition is accompanied by a new fully illustrated, bilingual (Spanish/English) publication that will serve as the first comprehensive monograph of the artist, highlighting approximately 40 performances from across Martiel’s career. The publication will include an introduction from El Museo’s curators and a specially commissioned essay by guest author and scholar Genevieve Hyacinthe.

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ABOUT CARLOS MARTIEL
Carlos Martiel (born 1989, Havana), lives and works in New York. He graduated in 2009 from the National Academy of Fine Arts San Alejandro in Havana. Between the years 2008-2010, he studied in the Cátedra Arte de Conducta, directed by the artist Tania Bruguera.

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Martiel’s works have been included in the 11th Lanzarote Biennial, Spain; Biennial of the Americas, USA; 4th Vancouver Biennale, Canada; 14th Sharjah Biennial, UAE; 14th Cuenca Biennial, Ecuador; 57th Venice Biennale, Italy; Casablanca Biennale, Morocco; Biennial “La Otra”, Colombia; Liverpool Biennial, United Kingdom; Pontevedra Biennial, Spain; Havana Biennial, Cuba. He has had performances at The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, New York; Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York; El Museo del Barrio, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; La Tertulia Museum, Cali, Colombia; Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Quito, Ecuador; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; The Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo del Zulia (MACZUL), Maracaibo, Venezuela; Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan; and Nitsch Museum, Naples. He has received several awards, including the Franklin Furnace Fund in New York, 2016; “CIFOS Grants & Commissions Program Award” in Miami, 2014; “Arte Laguna” in Venice, 2013. His work has been exhibited at The São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP), São Paulo; The Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA), Long Beach; Zisa Zona Arti Contemporanee (ZAC), Palermo; Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum, Miami; Benaki Museum, Athens; National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana; and El Museo del Barrio, New York, among others.

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His works are in public and private collections such as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM); and Museu de Arte do Rio, Rio de Janeiro.

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CREDITS
The Maestro Dobel Latinx Prize was created to raise awareness and amplify the cultural production of Latinx artists practicing across the United States and Puerto Rico. Nominated by art professionals and selected by jury, the bi-annual prize aims to shine a light on the work and creations of talented Latinx artists, a segment that has historically been underrepresented in the art world at large.

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The exhibition is organized by Rodrigo Moura, chief curator, and Susanna V. Temkin, curator.

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Image credit: Carlos Martiel, Monumento I [Monument I] (detail), 2021. Courtesy the artist and El Museo del Barrio. Photograph by Walter Wlodarczyk.

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(more info here)

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El Museo del Barrio | 1230 5th Ave, New York, NY 10029

feb 182024
 

BODY OF WORK
CARLOS MARTIEL

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February 10–March 9, 2024

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Steve Turner is pleased to present Body of Work, a solo exhibition by Cuban-born and New York-based artist Carlos Martiel who for nearly two decades has used his body to critique political issues that relate to censorship, oppression and migration.

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Body of Work features new works by the artist that encompass performance, photography, sculpture, drawing, installation and jewelry. In Visionario, a powerful photographic self-portrait, Martiel gazes intensely at the viewer, with diamonds embedded in the reflection in his eyes. Insignia VI is a large-scale American flag which is stained with the blood of a Native American.

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In Visionario, Martiel relies on the mantra “my gender is black” to subvert the common assumptions about power in portraiture. In Insignia VI, he addresses the function of representation in the context of conquest, colonialism, slavery and capitalism. As a whole, Body Of Work is focused on the ongoing struggles faced by people of African and Native descent in the Americas.

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Body Of Work is open to the public beginning Wednesday, February 14, 2024. On March 1, 2024 at 6 PM, Martiel will introduce Vaciamiento, a new performance that will also feature the participation of the artist’s parents, something unprecedented in his performance practice.

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Carlos Martiel (1989, Havana). Lives and works in NYC. He graduated in 2009 from the National Academy of Fine Arts “San Alejandro,” in Havana. Between 2008-2010, he studied in the Cátedra Arte de Conducta, directed by Tania Bruguera. Martiel’s works have been included in 57th Venice Biennale, Italy. He has had performances at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, The Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art and El Museo del Barrio in NYC, The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and The Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH). He has received several awards, including the Maestro Doble Latinx Art Prize which includes a solo exhibition at El Museo del Barrio, New York which will open on May 1, 2024.

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(more info here)

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Steve Turner | 6830 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90038

feb 052024
 

Friday, Feb 9
6-8 pm

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A showcase of films by artists from Brazil, Cuba, Barbados, and Jamaica assembled together not as an answer to the question raised by the book, Where is Africa, but with the understanding that the title and content of the book open up even more paths and questions. These paths might lead us to the poetic dimension that resides in the existence of Black bodies and lives. To the dynamics of the presence of life, intelligence, and multiple forms of collective maintenance. To affective networks, to link and unlinkings.

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Artists: Rafael RG, Alberta Whittle, Tiago Sant’Ana, Carlos Martiel, Gê Viana and lagor Peres, Simon Benjamin, Ayrson Heráclito and Lula Buarque de Hollanda.

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(more info here)

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Center for Art, Research and Alliances (CARA) | 225 W 13th St, New York, NY 10011.

sep 132023
 

4 –⁠ 8 Oct, 2023 (various times)

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The performances use the entirety of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, and is self-led, letting you explore all parts of the building, including the auditorium, Purcell Room, backstage dressing rooms, green rooms, technical spaces and foyer.

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The artists have all been invited to make site-specific, long-durational work. They engage with endurance, presence and participation, creating an infinite possibility of encounters between visitors and artists.

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The artists featured are Collective Absentia, Carla Adra, Cassils, Paula Garcia, Miles Greenberg, Sandra Johnston, Carlos Martiel, Yiannis Pappas, Paul Setúbal, Aleksandar Timotic and Despina Zacharopoulou.

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Marina Abramović is participating on Wednesday 4 October and Sunday 8 October (session one) and is also present at various other times during the takeover.

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Marina Abramović Institute (MAI) presents and supports performance art at a global scale. Through an artist-driven process, the institute maintains both a multidisciplinary approach to performance and a focus on long-durational work.

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MAI aims to address the complexity of the present time in order to shift awareness and consciousness of human beings through performance. It promotes interdisciplinary collaboration between practitioners of all disciplines, including art, science, technology, and spirituality.

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In 2023, MAI opened its space in Karyes, Greece to support creative processes around performance art and generate collaborative thinking. The institute hosts Cleaning the House, a workshop developed by Abramović to reset the body and help understand one’s physical or mental limits. The workshops are open to public participants coming from any discipline.

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Globally, the institute creates communal participatory projects that critically engage with time, place, and human experiences. MAI has presented major performance projects in Sao Paulo (2015), Athens (2016), Kyiv (2017), Bangkok (2018), Istanbul (2020) and Amsterdam (2022).

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Marina Abramović Institute is: Marina Abramović, Thanos Argyropoulos, Serge Le Borgne, Paula Garcia, Billy Zhao

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(more info here)

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Southbank Centre | Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX.

sep 132023
 
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New York’s Museo del Barrio and Mexican tequila brand Maestro Dobel have announced Havana-born installation and performance artist Carlos Martiel as the first winner of the newly established Maestro Dobel Latinx Art Prize. Martiel, who is based in Harlem, will receive a $50,000 grant and a solo exhibition of his work, to take place in El Museo del Barrio’s multidisciplinary space Room 110 in the spring of 2024. The prize, which is to be awarded biannually, is aimed at elevating the work of Latinx artists, who have been historically underrepresented in the art world, despite the fact that 62 million US citizens, or nearly 19 percent of the country’s population, are of Hispanic descent according to the 2020 US census.

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“On behalf of our jury, I am delighted to announce Carlos Martiel as the recipient of the 2023 Maestro Dobel Latinx Art Prize,” said Patrick Charpenel, executive director of El Museo del Barrio, in a statement. “Martiel’s work beautifully explores the complexity and nuance of racism and racialization, gender, immigration, and the legacy of colonialism in the Americas. We are grateful for our partnership with Maestro Dobel Tequila, who shares our commitment to supporting Latinx artists in the United States.”

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Martiel is known for durational performance works exploring issues of racism, systems of oppression, and violence targeting people of color. A number of these works find him testing the limits of his own body, which he sometimes binds with ropes or chains, against which he then strains. His work has appeared in the 2019 Sharjah Biennial, the 2017 Venice Biennale, and several iterations of the Havana Biennial.

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“I am honored to have been selected as the inaugural winner of the Maestro Dobel Latinx Art Prize, an award that celebrates my community and stresses the crucial role of Latinx art in the creative world,” said Martiel in a statement. “Through this prize, I am looking forward to producing new work that will continue to drive conversations on subjects that matter and shine a light on the importance of representation.”

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(more info here)

jun 282023
 

17ª Mostra de Performance Arte

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A Verbo 2023 acontecerá nos dias 19, 20 e 21 de julho, no Chão SLZ (São Luís, MA), nos dias 27, 28, 29 e 30 de julho, na Pinacoteca do Ceará (Fortaleza, CE), e nos dias 9, 10, 11 de agosto, na Galeria Vermelho (São Paulo, SP).

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A seleção de projetos ficou a cargo de Carolina Vieira (Pinacoteca do Ceará), Samantha Moreira (Chão SLZ), e de Marcos Gallon (Galeria Vermelho).

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O recorte curatorial da Verbo foi criado a partir da leitura das 300 propostas recebidas de várias regiões do país e do mundo, num total de 10 países. Além dos projetos selecionados por meio do edital, a Verbo 2023 contará também com artistas convidados, totalizando 31 ações.

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Cada cidade receberá um programa distinto, com exceção do eixo de ações criadas para câmeras de vídeo cujo programa será apresentado integralmente nas três cidades.

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Nova parceria da Verbo, a Pinacoteca do Ceará, instituição recentemente inaugurada em Fortaleza, abrigará todo o programa, e incluirá também uma oficina de textos curatoriais coordenada pela pesquisadora cearense Érica Zíngano.

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Lista de artistas selecionados por meio de edital:

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Andrea Hygino e Artur Souza (Rio de Janeiro), Carchíris Barcelos (Paço do Lumiar), Carolina Cony Rosa (Rio de Janeiro), Charlene Sales Bicalho (Nova Era), Daniel Faguz (São Paulo), Eduardo Hargreaves (Tiradentes), Fabiana Amelio Faleiros (São Paulo), Felipe Teixeira e Mariana Molinos (São Paulo), Galia Eibenschutz (Cidade do México), Génova Alvarado (Serra Grande), Lucas Antonio Bebiano (Ibiúna), Lucimélia Romão (São Félix), No Barraco da Constância tem! (Fortaleza), Renan Marcondes (São Paulo), Ruy Cézar Campos (Fortaleza), Ting-tong Chang (Taipei), Sy Gomes (Eusébio), Thiago Sogayar Bechara (São Paulo), Ton Bezerra (São Luís).

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Lista de artistas convidados:

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Boris Nikitin (Basileia), Carlos Martiel (Nova York), Dinho Araújo (São Luís), Eduardo Bruno e Waldirio Castro (Fortaleza), Elilson (Recife), Guilherme Peters (São Paulo), Isadora Ravena (Fortaleza), Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen (Copenhage), Pablo Assumpção (Fortaleza), Tania Candiani (Cidade do México), Yuri Firmeza (Fortaleza).

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A Verbo é um evento sem fins lucrativos, criado, produzido e gerido pela Vermelho desde 2005.

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(more info here)