Monday, February 20, 2017

The Metropolitan Museum of Manila is proud to welcome the recipient of its 2017 International Artist Residency, performance artist Maria José Arjona from Colombia. On February 11, 2017 (Saturday), the MET hosted a public interaction session with Arjona which also launched her exhibition at the MET Open Gallery entitled “Practice”.

Arjona refers to “Practice” as both action and a space. Her exhibition highlights the interaction between the space, the audience, and the artist herself and the shared experiences and the exchanges happening in between. Featuring video documentation of her performances and a working space, the style of the artist is immediately evident. She uses the body as an instrument in projecting her own art.

Arjona discussed the essence of her discipline and the interconnecting elements of body, time, and space and their influence on knowledge and emotion with the audience who came to her talk and interaction on February 11. She will continue to work on her studio/exhibition space at the MET on February 13 and 15, and museum visitors are encouraged to join her and be part of her performance and creation process. Her exhibit “Practicewill be on view until April 1, 2017.

SEGUNDO MENSAJERO / AVISTAMIENTO; 9:50. Flora Ars natura (Bogota). Kunsthalle Osnabruck (Germany) 2016.

As part of her two-week residency program which started last February 3, Arjona visited Baguio City to meet National Artist BenCab and Filipino contemporary artist, Kawayan De Guia. She also sat down for an artist’s talk at the University of the Philippines - Baguio’s College of Arts and Communications. Arjona presented her projects and body work, followed by a lively discussion with the audience.

FLIGHT / AVISTAMIENTO; 7:18. Flora Ars natura (Bogota). Kunsthalle Osnabruck (Germany) 2016.

Arjona’s residency provides her with first hand experience of Philippine rituals, and traditional music and dances, which she expressed interest in as a performance artist with a dance background. She has met with National Living Treasure Alonzo Saclag Jr. and Apo Whang-Od to learn about Kalinga traditions; she took lessons with the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group where she learned to do Tinikling, and other Philippine Folk Dances. She is also scheduled to spend time with National Artist for Music Dr. Ramon Santos, and visit Batangas to learn about the Subli tradition.

RIGHT AT THE CENTER, THERE IS SILENCE; 5:42. Performance (Group Exhibition) - Croatia Biennale, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rijeka, Croatia / 2011.

Arjona will also be hosted by Manila House on February 13, and by the College of Fine Arts of UP Diliman for an Artist Talk and Interaction on February 14.

The MET’s International Artist Residency Program which is now on its fourth year paves a way for an exchange of multi-cultural perspectives and contexts to understand the various art forms, expressions, content, and issues of contemporary art in the Philippines and around the world. This residency program is organized in the framework of the Latin America Roaming Art (LARA) Project, with the support of Asiaciti Trust.

LIFE; 4:16. Flora Ars natura (Bogota). Kunsthalle Osnabruck (Germany) 2016.

Born in Bogota, Colombia (1973), Maria José Arjona is currently living and working in the same city, while still doing her practice globally. She was trained in contemporary dance and graduated from Visual Arts in 2000 from The Higher Academy of Arts of Bogota. In 2002 she left Colombia to reside in the United States for 15 years where she further developed a practice fully focused on long durational work.

In 2010, Arjona was chosen by Marina Abramovic as one of the performers for “The Artist Is Present”, her performance retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Arjona jointly presented with Abramovic in the workshop “Cleaning the House”, as part of the preliminary work of the said exhibition.

BIRDCAGE; 5:34. Performance Space - Live Art Development Agency (LADA), London / 2015. Performance (Group Exhibition) - Museum Of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, Croatia / 2016.

Arjona has been featured in group and solo exhibitions and projects in Europe, the United States and South America. Some exhibitions of the artist’s work include: Third Guangzhou Triennial, China (2008); Artist in Residency Program in Watermill Center, New York (2009); In-transit, Berlin (2009); Artist in Residency Program at Performance Space/LADA, London (2015); “Avistamiento”, a project in collaboration with FLORA Ars-Natura, Bogota (2015); and first solo exhibition in Europe at “Kunsthalle Osnabruck,” Germany (2016).

THREE HEADED WOMAN / VIRES; 10:51. Madre Museum, Naples, Italy / 2010. Teatro Anatomico, Bologna, Italy / 2010. NC Arte, Bogota, Colombia / 2011.

Her most recent project is part of the Latin America Roaming Art - LARA Art Project in 2016 wherein she participated in an Artist in Residency Program in the Galapagos; and in an Exhibition held at the Centro De Arte Contemporaneo De Quito, in Ecuador. Arjona won the LARA Prize in 2016, which includes residency in the Philippines, organized by the MET.

The Metropolitan Museum of Manila is located at Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Manila.

For inquiries, email

You Might Also Like