ARTISTS

JORGE CHIKIAR + MARIA EMILIA FRANCHIGNONI COLLABORATE PERIODICALLY SINCE 2015 ON ARTISTIC PROJECTS THAT SEEK TO ENGAGE PERFORMANCE AND MUSIC, CREATING PERFORMATIVE DEVICES THAT RELY ON SOUND IN ORDER TO PRODUCE NEW SPATIALITIES. THEIR EXPERIMENTAL WORK DISPLAYS A CONTEMPORARY SENSIBILITY INFLUENCED BY PRESENT VIOLENCE AND THE EMERGENCE OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES.

Together, they have create and performed the concert “If this is life, I am Little Red Riding Hood…” based on Luisa Valenzuela’s story at the Borges Auditorium, of the National Library in 2015 and the lecture performance “Firytales” at the Abasto Social Club in 2018, both in Buenos Aires. Nowadays, they are composing their new piece, a contemporary opera to be premiered in Argentina in 2020.

LUISA VALENZUELA

Born in Buenos Aires on the 26thof November. She has lived in Paris and New York, with lengthy stays in Barcelona and Mexico, as well. Her carrier spans fifty years of uninterrupted dedication to literature, through which she has published more than 30 books, including novels, short stories, microstories and essays.

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Her work has been edited in more than 17 countries throughout America, Europe, Asia and Oceania and her books have been translated into English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, Serbian, Korean, Japanese and Arab. Her singular treatment of themes and motives related to power relations, the body, humor and language have made her an object of study in universities around the world.

Creditor of the National Foundation for the Arts (Fondo Nacional de Las Artes), Fulbright Foundation (University of Iowa International Writers’ Program) and the Guggenheim grants, amongst others, Luisa is a renowned professor. She has taught courses and workshops, mainly through out universities in the US and Mexico. Her academic activity is reflected as well, in the memberships she holds to outstanding institutions, such as The New York Institute for the Humanities, The Alfonso Reyes Subject at Monterrey’s Technological Institute and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, amongst others.

For the press, she has contributed as a writer in The Graphical Supplement of La Nación Newspaper during ten years. Her outstanding performance made her a merited Kraft National Award winner in 1965. Afterwards, she worked for several years at Crisis magazine and was a frequent columnist and collaborator in various Argentinian and American magazines and newspapers.

Throughout her career, Luisa has received distinctions in various forms, some of them are: El Gran Premio de Honor from SADE (Sociedad Argentina de Escritores), The Honoris Causa Doctorate from the University of Knox (Illinois) and from the Universidad Nacional de San Martín (Buenos Aires), the Machada de Assis Medal from the Brazilian Academy of Letters, the Astralba Prize of the University of Puerto Rico and the Esteban Echevarria prize from the People of Letters Association. In 2017, she also had the privilege of giving the opening speech at the 43rdInternational Book Fair in Buenos Aires.

Due to her trajectory, she has also participated as a jury in various international prizes, such as the Premio Casa de las Americas of La Habana, Cuba, the IMPAC of Dublin, the New York State Council for the Arts and the Literary Award of Buenos Aires’ International Book Fair.

Her profound social compromise has seen her named Fellow at the Fund for Free Expression and of the Freedom to Write Committee of PEN American Center. Since 2015, she presides PEN’s Association Argentinian subsidiary.

A lover of travel, she’s known to give conferences and lectures at congresses and fairs around the world. A number of literary events have been dedicated completely to her work, such as “Luisa Valenzuela: a symposium” (La Trobe University, Sydney 1990), the prestigious Puterbaugh Conference (University of Oklahoma, 1995), “La Semana del Autor” of Casa de las Américas (La Habana, 2001), “Aproximaciones a la obra de Luisa Valenzuela” (Viena University, 2008), the literary colloquium of the Monterrey Book Fair (Mexico, 2009) and “Luisa Valenzuela: el vértigo de la escritura” (Buenos Aires, 2015).

She’s currently based in the city of Buenos Aires, where she returned in 1989 and has been appointed a Distinguished Personality of Letters and Honorable Citizen.

Web page: https://www.luisavalenzuela.com

MARÍA EMILIA FRANCHIGNONI

Buenos Aires, 1981. Multidisciplinary artist, she obtained her Masters’ Degree in Performance Studies from New York University’s (NYU) Tisch School of Arts, where she was awarded a scholarship for her academic performance. Holds a BA in Communication and Cultural Studies from University of San Andrés, Buenos Aires.

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She has also studied with renowned international theater masters and companies, such as Richard Schechner and East Coast Artists, SITI Company, Julio Chavez, Cristina Banegas, Monica Viñao, and Sebastian Kalt, amongst others, and in institutions such as the University of Westminster, London. She has complemented her Theater studies with an ongoing formation in Singing and Dance, including a year at the Associate Degree of Singing at the Escuela Mitra, in charge of the soprano singer, Mirta Arrua Lichi, where she continues her studies.

Her artistic and intellectual production is centered on issues related to Performance, Gender and Corporality in the Performing Arts, with focus on Experimental Performance. She was part of the Research Group in Performing Arts at the Centro Cultural de la Cooperación (Buenos Aires) and was also a Jury at the World Theatre Prize. In the same vein, she has participated in numerous conferences and collaborates in distinguished publications, such as the theatrical magazine Conjuntoof Casa de las Americas, Cuba; e-misferica, the electronic journal of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics (New York) and is a collaborator of the “Damiselas en Apuros” blog, edited by Argentinian cultural journalists Moira Soto and Guadalupe Treibel. She has also participated as a Director and Professor together with Marcela Fuentes (marshagall), in the International Research Seminar organized by the Department of the Arts of Movement at UNA (National University of the Arts, Buenos Aires) in 2012.

Regarding her work as a performance artist, she was commissioned in 2015 by the Art gallery Pasaje 17 (Buenos Aires) to produce two works for its II Cycle of Performance, one in collaboration with Sebastián Kalt called des.con.figuracion, a durational piece and Habitat, a performance installation about gender violence. That same year, she was invited together with composer Jorge Chikiar and pianist Perla Gonilski, to carry out the closing ceremony of the Luisa Valenzuela Symposium at the National Library in Buenos Aires, where they performed the concert “Si esto es la vida, yo soy Caperucita Roja…” based on the story by Valenzuela. In 2007 she premiered A Nocturnal Suiteat the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, an experimental performance created together with French video artist, Sarah Lasry, which got them important reviews, remarkably a “Must See” from the English Theatre Newspaper, The Stage.

Amongst her activity as an actor, two titles outstand: Don Juan and Faustby Dietrich Grabbe, directed by Daniel Suarez Marzal, and Shakespeare’s Sonettes, directed by Jorge Rod that premiered at the Shakespeare Festival of Buenos Aires. In film, she has been part of the full-length film La Forma Exacta de las Islasby Edgardo Dieleke and Daniel Casabe, where she featured as the narrator and director of voice-overs. The film won the 5th“Via Documental” of INCAA (National Institute of Cinematography) and other international recognitions. As director and dramaturg, she has produced the World Spanish premiere of Virginia Woolf’s only theater play, Freshwater, which was presented at Ciudad Cultural Konex and Teatro El Tinglado in 2010 and 2012. She has also published the volume Freshwater y otros textos breves sobre teatro(Cuenco del Plata) that includes her version and translation of the play amongst other unpublished essays by the author.

Currently, she is a Professor at the Master’s Program in Theater and Performing Arts at UNA (National University of the Arts) and is a member of the PEN Association in Argentina, since 2014. In 2016, she has taken to the stage her first piece as a playwright, El nombre de la Lunaat the Teatro del Abasto, with great public and critical acclaim. In 2017, her project Masc – a – RAD – a – dawas selected by the Bienal de Arte Joven to take part in the Performance Biennale 2017, and featured in the the exhibition “Dada Anti-homage”, curated by Emilio Garcia Wehbi and Ricardo Ibarlucia at Centro Cultural Recoleta. Recently, she has received from the Williams Foundation a grant to attend an intensive course in Contemporary Opera, a program held at the Festival Nueva Ópera that gathered the most renowned international figures of the Genre.

JORGE CHIKIAR

Buenos Aires, 1970. Is a composer and sound artist. Creator of the piece “No te calles”, for percussion and electronics, composed specially for percussionist Bruno Lo Bianco, published in his Solo Set CD (2017).

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He has also created the piece “Radio Collection”, which premiered in 2016 at Knock Down Center, New York, and published “Crossing Hemispheres” with John King (John Cage’s disciple) for the UNTREF Sonoros label. The CD is a result of their ongoing collaboration and together they have performed their work in several venues in Buenos Aires and New York.His piece for electronics and ensemble “Wu Wang” premiered at the Centro Cultural Recoleta in 2015, interpreted by the Fractus Ensemble. In 2008, he obtained the Clarín Prize for the work “Voraz”, created for the choreographer Carlos Trunsky.

He has composed music for the Stable Ballet of the Colon Theater, for the Teatro General San Martin and for the Ballet del Chaco. He was the General Coordinator of the Experimental Workshop at Teatro Colon in 2008 and he was also in charge of the sound installation of “Sur Polar Arte” in Antarctica, featured at MUNTREF.

He has also composed original music for the visual artist David Lamela’s “So Far Lejos” exhibition, presented in London in 2005; and for film, he was responsible of creating the soundtracks for: “Un año sin amor” (Anahi Berneri), “Perro Amarillo”(Javier Van de Couter), “El día trajo la oscuridad”, “Unidad XV” and “El padre de mis Hijos” (Martin Desalvo) and “Tras La Pantalla” (Marcos Martinez).

In theater, his most outstanding works include the music for director Ciro Zorzoli’s play “Cronicas” that premiered at Centro Cultural Rojas in 2004. and “Que la mar te devuelva” by choreographer Carlos Trunsky, for which he was nominated for the Clarin Prize in 2005. He has also worked as Chief Sound Engineer at the Experimental center The Kitchen in New York during 2004 and worked with artists such as Laurie Anderson, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Meredith Monk and Pauline Oliveros, amongst others.

He was also a permanent collaborator of Martín Bauer for several years when he produced the works: El Malogrado, Infinito Nero, La selva Interior, Lohengrin, Colección de Piano, Irving Arditti cuartet, Smith Cuartet, Variaciones Cromáticasand for the “Ciclo de Música Contemporánea”. Between 2003 and 2007 he worked at Teatro Colon, Margarita Xirgu and at the Complejo Teatral Buenos Aires as a director and sound designer, along with artists like Joan Labarbara, John King, Morton Subotnik, Irving Arditti, Martin Matalon, EnsambleSillages, Peter Ablinger and Salvatore Sciarrino, amongst others.

Currently, he is a Tenured Professor of Musical production and Recording (I and II) courses at UNTREF and teaches music courses for digital mediums and non-conventional mediums control. Formerly, he taught Composition with electronic and digital mediums at the CEAMC Foundation. Periodically, he teaches Synthesis and Composition with electronic mediums seminars at the CMC of Columbia University, along with Dr. Prender.