Maria Jose Contreras-68_edited.jpg
m ARIA
J Osé
C ONTRERAS
L ORENZINi

Ph.D in Semiotics,

Universidad de Bolonia

Actress, Teatro Ridotto

Psychologist, PUC

I am a performance artist-scholar from Chile currently based in New York City. My work creatively explores the relation between the body, memory, and politics. As a "daughter" of the Chilean dictatorship, my life has been marked by the aftermath of a political conflict that has shaped my community. Performance and embodied research have allowed me to approach these haunting questions in a collaborative and creative way: How can we make sense together of a traumatic past? Where in our bodies do difficult memories live? What type of art practice facilitates spaces for processing, healing, and envisioning the future together? 

I consider myself a post-disciplinary artist, since more than dutiful to a certain artistic discipline or format, I am deeply engaged with the questions that obsess me. I've explored with a wide range of performance formats, from massive public interventions involving 1210 people (#QuererNoVer), including intimate actions of resistance (Aquí), to devising theatre. (#LaConquista, Vocales de Mesa, Remite Santos Dumont, etc.). I think of myself as a deviser that asks key questions and explores them through collaborative performance practices. 

I've developed an important part of my work in academic contexts. Academia is a precious context where I can do embodied artistic research while connecting in ways that exceed the artist-spectator relationship. Scholarly work, including teaching, conceptualizing, and publishing are crucial parts of what I do.  As an Associate Professor/Artist, I sometimes embody theory while other times theorize embodiment. Whichever direction, theory and practice are blended, brewed, (and served!) in my creative journey.  

Contact information:

contreras.mariajose@gmail.com

Santiago de Chile – Nueva York, EE.UU.