Ruin by Carlos Martiel

Saturday, February 7, 2015, 5:00 p.m.
Venue: CentralTrak
Admission: Free
Season: 2014-15

CentralTrak is pleased to host PerformanceSW’s presentation of Ruin, a live performance by Cuban artist Carlos Martiel on Saturday February 7, at 5:00 pm. In this audience participation piece, Mr. Martiel will enlist the audience in the creation of a pile of large rocks with his body serving as the base.  Mr. Martiel’s artworks are often endurance tests fixated on strength, pain, and determination.

Ruin looks at the extermination of American indigenous populations and land by dominant Western Culture. Martiel states, “Progressivism [has] buried native traditions, folklore and wisdom… This work proposes the body as a seed on which a possible new society is built. My body is made invisible [by the performance] but is not displaced.”

Martiel’s work and world views will be discussed during the Next Topic on Thursday February 5, 8:00pm. He has a finger on the pulse of conflict, openly commenting on and expressing his political views through performance. His primary medium is his own body, placing himself in painful and challenging situations. Martiel has performed acts as extreme as having bodily tissues surgically removed and encapsulated as an award in order to dignify the lives of people being marginalized in contemporary Cuba due to skin color. The impressive degree to which Martiel is willing to act for his beliefs will be the center of discussion in this Next Topic.




Havana-born performance artist, Carlos Martiel, is known for his visceral political performances that offer critique on contemporary issues associated with his country of origin and abroad. His work addresses topics of injustice, repression, discrimination, censorship and immigration. Martiel uses his body as a site for discourse, reflecting on the relations of power and social context.


Martiel graduated from the National Academy of Fine Arts San Alejandro, Havana in 2009. A pupil of artist Tania Bruguera, his work has been included in numerous international exhibitions including the International Performance Art Biennale, Houston (2014), Biennial "La Otra" in Bogotá (2013), Havana Biennial, Cuba (2012) Pontevedra Biennial, Galicia (2010), Liverpool Biennial (2010). He has had solo exhibitions at Steve Turner Contemporary in Los Angeles (2014), Nitsch Museum, Naples (2013), Galería Lux, Guatemala City (2013), Contemporary Art Center "Wifredo Lam," Havana (2012). He has received several awards, including "CIFOS Grants & Commissions Program Award" in Miami, 2014; "Arte Laguna" in Venice, Italy, 2013; "Close Up Award" in Vallarta, Mexico, 2012. His work has been exhibited in Estonian Museum of Art and Design in Tallinn, Estonia; Museum of Modern Art of Buenos Aires in Argentina; Bellevue Museum of Arts, Washington; The 8th floor in New York, among others.



CentralTrak, The University of Texas at Dallas Artists Residency, established in 2008, is dedicated to the creation, presentation, and advancement of the contemporary arts.  As a live/work space for eight artists, it serves as a community center in the North Texas area for broad intellectual discourse around the arts.  While the residency promotes artistic experimentation through its support of production, the companion gallery encourages critical engagement in a local urban context through exhibitions and related programs. By building on the forward-thinking academic resources of the School of Arts & Humanities at The University of Texas at Dallas, CentralTrak unites artists from an expansive range of creative disciplines to extend and challenge contemporary notions of artistic practice, creative expression, and the role technology plays in these processes.


CentralTrak is supported in part by the generosity of numerous donors and partners from the North Texas area and The University of Texas at Dallas.




Address: 800 Exposition, Dallas, TX 75226

Hours: Saturday 12:00 – 5:00 during exhibitions, tours available by appointment call (469) 232-7298.

Admission: Free

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