NEXT TOPIC: Carlos Martiel, Performance Artist

Thursday, February 5, 2015, 8:00 p.m.
Venue: CentralTrak
Admission: Free
Season: 2014-15

CentralTrak is pleased to host Cuban artist Carlos Martiel on Thursday February 5, at 7:00 pm. Martiel’s work and world views will be discussed during the Next Topic.  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 moderated by SMU’s Beatriz Balanta.



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.


Moderator: Beatriz Balanta was born in Colombia, South America, and as a teenager she immigrated to the United States. She received a BA in Sociology from Boston College and a PhD in Romance Studies from Duke University. Balanta’s scholarly work analyzes the photographic and literary dimensions of racial formation in Latin America. Her interests encompass 19th century debates regarding freedom, citizenship, and nation building in Brazil, Colombia, and the United States as well as contemporary theorizations of art practices from the Global South.  She is an assistant professor at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.


Curator of PerformanceSW Alison Starr is an interdisciplinary artist and professor residing in Dallas, Texas. Starr received an MFA in Intermedia Studios from the University of Texas at Arlington. Human nature/behavior, interactions, and private thoughts inspire her work; some of which is autobiographical. Her current body of work includes writing and performing both live and in video presentations as well as other time based work involving sound installation. She is an art instructor at The University of Texas at Arlington and El Centro College and works in the education department at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Starr is the co-founder of PerformanceSW, a project in support of the proliferation of performance art outside of the American mainstream discourse as well as a contributing member of (wo)manorial, a collective of artists, writers, and thinkers who contemplate the ever-changing concept of the feminine.




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

Visit our Website at for more information


For more information contact:
[email protected]

UT Dallas students, staff and faculty may receive a free ticket to any ticketed A&H event by presenting their Comet Card at the Box Office on the night of the performance. See tickets for more information.

Persons with disabilities may submit a request for accommodations to participate in this event at UT Dallas' ADA website. You may also call (972) 883-2982 for assistance or send an email to [email protected]. All requests should be received no later than 2 business days prior to the event.

Due to on-going campus construction, please visit Pardon Our Progress to keep updated with the latest construction projects

Click here for parking locations/information, maps and directions to A&H event venues and visit UT Dallas Parking & Transportation for more information.