My name is Carlos Monroy. I’m a Colombian visual artist and performer. In 2008 I graduated from the University de los Andes in Bogota and moved in to São Paulo, where I live and work. Yet I’m always in transit between Brazil and my country. In the first half of 2014 I successfully finished an MFA program on Visual Poetics at the University of São Paulo, granted with a scholarship for international students provided by CNPq and the Brazilian Embassy in Colombia. During the two year research I developed the dissertation Thoughts on Re-formance: imitations, pastiches, forgeries and other artist’s tricks tutored by the teachers and artists Ana Maria Tavares and Carlos Fajardo. This process ended with the making of two solo exhibitions and an artist's book. On the last one I developed theoretically and experimentally the term of my authorship: Re-formance. The neologism is presented as a key term to understand my own production as well as a new possibility to argument and contemplate the contemporary performance scene and discourse.
My work, based primarily on performance art practice, research the potentiality body(ies) has(ve) to become a political and aesthetical tool(s) once it become aware of its revolutionary potential to criticize celebrate and reveal the way the state, the capital, the violence and the social pressure impact our lives. With this premise in mint I’m constantly developing proposals in different mediums that explicit the action of the body in society, such as live performance, video, photographs, drawings, objects and academic research. Because I decided to walking freely, mixing all those technics my works exanimate also the boundaries between these artistic medias. The final products and processes of such exercise are always questioning the specificity, boundaries and certain recurring ways in which performance art, with its institutionalization in the past 10 years, has come to fall, pointing clearly to the nonsense and paradigms that such limitation imposed to our physical, artistic and human liberties
Specifically my last works inquiries the apparently veracity of the action and it’s registering, indicating the great distance between these elements. Showing the building of actions as possible fakes and taking advantage of the robbery that image appearance could perform. At the same time I try to open spaces for other practices of the body, understood as marginal, to be contemplated within the official discourse of the arts and cultural scene, including: ballroom dancing, the pornochanchada, magic tricks and popular culture. These two behaviors intended to establish friendlier bridges between the viewer, history and myself, searching to find a common ground to create a successful social and aesthetical dialogue. In other words, I try to brake the walls imposed between the performativity of life, the theatricality of the figure of the artist, the collective imaginary and the spectators
Performance has become the most effective way to express myself while having fun. At the same time it has become my most precious object of study. What is performance? How do you do it? Why? What for? These are the questions that keep me in a constant movement to create and, whether they are the final issue of the pieces or not, had granted me with critical distance and self-reflection, two necessary elements to maintain a consistent artistic discourse. Because of this, my work is constantly re-reading, recreating and re-forming historical events of all kinds, designed to be re-contextualized in the space and time I’m living in. This aim to experience all variations and possibilities a live evetn could have, advocating at last for the inclusion of such possibilities in the artistic, historical, social and personal cartographies.
I found in imitation and repetition the perfect tools to affect the contemporary art scene, the academy and the world. These two are my weapons to act up against institutionalization and standardization of bodies, art and life. They are also my icebreaker with the public, my twisted smile, my sense of bitter humor against relentless snobbery that art scene have and my Latino overacting. I am against the understanding of performance as an end in itself and I recognize on it another medium to articulate, visualize and empower different social, political and aesthetical ideals. Which are to be added in the contemporary polyphonic discourse, to show us the diversity of opinions and points of view in order to help us to understand, and ultimately to change, more thoroughly and critically our global and local contexts.