The Committed Body:
Political Performance Art From Latin America
                                                                                                                                                                           with Rodrigo Arenas-Carter


Course Description

Latin America disposes of a rich history of performance art with artists frequently using their practice as a tool to express, to react to, or to push for change in the political arena. Using a critical and decolonial perspective, this course introduces students not only to the local histories of performance art, but also guides them to explore their own practice as a political instrument concerned with their particular social, political, cultural, or personal circumstances. Through the study of key artists such as Marta Minujín, Lukas Avendaño, Ana Mendieta, or Regina José Galindo, practical exercises as well as selected readings, participants will learn about political performative strategies such as protest and the use of public space, ritualism, satire, cabaret, and digital possibilities. We will review how those strategies are used to convey key concerns of Latin American performance art such as colonialism, political violence, racism, feminism, and more. Participants are invited to experiment - in a sage space - with key concepts through exercises according to their own circumstances and interests and to engage in active discussion towards shared pieces and materials. All of those elements aim to equip participants with a structure that will help them - as creators, spectators, curators, or researchers - to gain a deeper understanding of Latin American performance art and to recognize the possibilities of performance art as a political tool. 



About Rodrigo Arenas-Carter

Rodrigo Arenas-Carter uses performance art to problematize conceptualizations that condition our freedom: nationality, gender, success, seriousness, among others. He has participated in exhibitions and festivals including Paris Biennale, Hemispheric 2016 and 2019, Proxy the Wrong, Terremoto Magazine, and UNAM. He has received grants from the Ministry of Culture of Chile, BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange, YAXS foundation and Goethe Institut (Bogota - Colombia). Also, he is an LGBTQ+ activist in Cuirpoétikas, and a member of the International Network for Contemporary Performance Arts (IETM), Central-American Arts Network (RACA) and Research Network of and from the Bodies. Rodrigo has participated in residencies at the Centro Cultural de España en Ciudad de Guatemala, Centro Cultural de España en Costa Rica, and Experimenta Sur (Colombia). His work has been reviewed in Central-America in Action, The Detail,  and  Revista Cultura de Guatemala. Rodrigo co-organized the biyearly performance-art festival Forma y Sustancia. He has participated in several academic journals, has a column about performance in Gazeta Guatemala, and published the book “The Vital Scarcity. Poetry and Performance Art in Latin-America and Chile” (2017). He holds an MA in Literature from UPLA, Valparaiso, Chile.
For more info visit Rodrigo’s website:


AVAILABILITY: Places still available
DURATION: May 15-June 5, 2023; Mondays 6-8 PM CET
LOCATION: Online course
TUITION FEE: 175 €  (no equipment required)



Course Image Caption
Rodrigo Arenas-Carter, "Choice," 2016, courtesy of the artist