In Progress: Marcela Torres

  • The Commons
    Second Floor, East Side
    220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

Featured image

A person crouches in a dark space on one knee, sheilding their face from the light.
Marcela Torres. No Contest, 2016
Photo: Jesse Meredith


In line with her physically and emotionally demanding artistic practice, which reevaluates historical representations of strength, violence, and endurance experienced by disenfranchised communities, Marcela Torres develops a new performance on-site, welcoming interaction with MCA visitors.

The evening also includes a 20-minute excerpt of Torres's new project Theater of the Unexpected, which attempts to communicate the nuanced development of martial art forms and techniques. Through her performance, Torres asks: What’s the difference between self-defense and destruction? Which person/group has the right to teach, learn, and wield violence and under what code?

Afterwards, Torres has a dynamic conversation with fellow artist Mev Luna, further examining the role of ritual mark-marking, agentic modes during war time, American ideals of self-defense, and the Latinx body and its relation to pleasure and pain.

In Progress is a new MCA series of public programs that give visitors a glimpse into the working practices of artists. This series creates a forum for conversation and interaction in our new space, the Commons.


About the Artist

Marcela Torres is visual artist who uses the tools and methodologies of social activism and education to repair, transform, and destabilize cultural ideologies that target and oppress “the other.” Enmeshing the physicality of martial arts with bastardized political encounters, Torres create modes of collaborative healing, using these strategies to create works in various media (including workshops, photographs, conferences, videos, live performances, publications, and community programming) that serve to heal communities.