person standing with horn in front of the river

Join the Department of Performance Studies for a special event featuring PS Visiting Scholar Maria José Arjona and Professor André Lepecki.  In the course of this conversation, they will engage in an exploration of possibilities, contemplating the forest as both a metaphorical construct and a tangible locus for nuanced and innovative expressions. Our inquiry delves into the intricacies of planning and conceptualization of collective movements, conceived as dynamic sonic-social spaces, with a predominant focus on the transformative agency of attentive listening. The works disseminated throughout this dialogue serve as strategic instruments, systematically probing the essential role of transitioning -as an action- but also as technology for political resistance.

These collective or soft structures, resembling microcosmic reflections of the Amazonian forest, function as active and open archives working within and throughout my work. They manifest, unfurl, and guide us toward the establishment of transient spaces and methodologies adept at reforesting not only corporeal entities but also the rigid structures permeated by institutional violence and normative paradigms.


Maria José Arjona is a Colombian multidisciplinary performance artist whose work proposes through radical poetic gestures a unique form of political resistance. At a time when political art is understood primarily as political activism, Arjona instead treats the body as a site for subtle and complex rearticulations and questionings of normative conditioning and violence. She moves away from a focus on the identity of the artist to highlight the organic, expansive shared potential of the body, a body that in its centrality may not be individual or biographical, but collective and unconditioned.

Arjona is currently a visiting scholar at Tisch University -Performance Studies- and a fellow artist at DAAD Berlin 2024-2025.  The artist exhibited her work in solo and group exhibitions, at institutions and museums in South America, the United States, Europe, and Asia. She has been part of the Thessaloniki Biennale (2017), the Marrakech Biennale (2012), The Quadrilateral Biennale of Croatia (2011), and the Guangzhou Triennial (2008). In 2018, she had the first retrospective of her work at the Museo De Arte Moderno de Bogota, curated by Claudia Segura and Jennifer Burris. 

Selected Exhibitions: Museum Of Contemporary Art Of Barcelona-MACBA (Barcelona, Spain), Zero Point (Berlin, Germany), Meridians at Art Basel Miami (Miami, USA), Nc arte (Bogota, Colombia), The Museum of Modern Art of Medellin (Medellin, Colombia), Arles Les Rencontres de la Photographie (Arles, France), LARA Art Project (Galapagos, Ecuador), Louvre Auditorium (Paris, France), La Caixa Forum (Madrid, Spain), Do-IT (Manchester, UK), 43 National Salon of Artists (Medellin, Colombia), MoMA (New York, USA ), MFA (Boston, USA), The Ballroom Marfa (Marfa, US), Madre Museum (Naples, Italy), Flora Ars Natura (Bogota, Colombia), Location One (New York, USA) and Banco De La Republica (Bogota, Colombia).

André Lepecki works and researches at the intersection of critical dance studies, curatorial practice, performance theory, contemporary dance and visual arts performance. Selected curatorial work includes Chief Curator of the festival IN TRANSIT (2008 and 2009 editions) at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin. Co-curator of the archive Dance and Visual Arts since 1960s for the exhibition MOVE: choreographing you, Hayward Gallery (2010). Curator of the lecture series Points of Convergence: performance and visual arts (2014) and Off-Hinge Off Center: alternative histories of performance, for the Museum of Modern Art of Warsaw (2014 and 2015). Also for MoMA-Warsaw he curated the series Performance in the Museum (2015). He also curated the project “The Future of Disappearance” for Sydney Biennial 2016, and co-curated with Adrian Heathfield the symposium Afterlives of Performance, at FiAFF and MoMA 2015.

In 2008 he received the AICA Award for Best Performance as co-curator and director of the authorized re-doing of Allan Kaprow’s 18 Happenings in 6 Parts (commissioned by Haus der Kunst, Munich 2006; presented at Performa 07).

Selected lectures include Museo Reina Sofia, MoMA-NY, Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio, MACBA, Para Site, Hong Kong, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, WIELS, The Gauss Seminars at Princeton University, Freie Universität, Berlin, Brown University, UC-Berkeley, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, École Superiore des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris. In 2009 he was Resident Fellow at Institute Interweaving Performance Cultures at Freie Universität, Berlin. In 2015 he was Artistic Professor at Stockholm University of the Arts, where he helped develop the research profile area on Concept and Composition.

He is the editor of the anthologies Points of Convergence: alternative views on performance (MoMA-Warsaw and Chicago Univ. Press 2016, with Marta Dziewanska), Dance (Whitechapel, 2012), Planes of Composition: dance, theory and the global (Seagull press, 2009, with Jenn Joy), The Senses in Performance (Routledge 2007, with Sally Banes), and Of the Presence of the Body (Wesleyan University Press, 2004). His single authored books are Exhausting Dance: performance and the politics of movement (Routledge 2006), currently translated in 13 languages, and Singularities: dance in the age of performance (Routledge 2016). 

Andre and Maria

André Lepecki & Maria José Arjona

Andre & Maria

André Lepecki & Maria José Arjona

Andre & Maria

André Lepecki & Maria José Arjona