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Jose Torres Tama
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About the Artist
Academic Lectures & Workshops American Mantra & Other Rituals CD
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Torres Tama treads that dangerously vague turf of performance art gracefully...with dexterity and daring.    
---The Village Voice

Torres Tama is both a versatile writer who can be lyrically evocative as well as bitingly humorous, and an impressive performer. ---The Philadelphia Inquirer



Through performance art, bilingual poetry, installation/visual arts, sound art projects, and critical writings, José Torres Tama explores the effects of media on race relations in the U.S., the "American Dream" mythology, and the Latino immigrant experience.   His multiple performance aliases include "El Mephisto Moderno," "El Señor Futurístico ," and "El Juan Bond," and they are exaggerated Latino hybrid personae of the new millennium on a mission to disturb the complacent psyches of monolinguistic and monotheistic audiences of "gringolandia."

Based in New Orleans, he has toured nationally/internationally for a dozen years.   He is the recent recipient of "Fund for the Arts" Ford Foundation Fellowship awarded by the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC) to develop his book manuscript entitled "The Dream Knows More than You: Performance Chronicles of a Latino Immigrant."   A Louisiana Theater Fellow and an award recipient from the National Endowment for the Arts, his performances thrive on a fusion of spoken word, rituals of fire, conceptual movement, tableau installation, and exaggerated personae--creating spectacles that are visually dynamic and politically charged.

His solos have been presented in Mexico, Canada, Eastern Europe and extensively across the USA at venues such as Performance space 122 & Theater for the New City in New York, The National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, Highways Performance Space in Los Angeles, DiverseWorks in Houston, and the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans.   In the academy, institutions such as Cornell, Duke, Louisiana State, Dillard, Kalamazoo College, Rutgers and the University of Michigan have presented his provocative solos and academic lectures on performance art as a tool for social change.

Using performance strategies in diverse communities, he works with minority teens through his "Youth Performance Projects" and creates multigenerational performances across age, class, and racial borders to cultivate the voices of the marginalized.   In addition, was a contributing editor to "ART PAPERS," a national arts magazine published in Atlanta, and he has written for the "Chicago New Art Examiner," "The Mexico City Times," and "Urban Latino Magazine" in New York.

His recent post-Katrina commentaries have aired on NPR's "Latino USA" and on WWNO, the local public radio station in New Orleans.   These radio essays are part of a collection he is turning into a book called "Hard Living in the Big Easy: Exiled in New Orleans after Katrina."

Artist StatementBioVitae

HomeOn Tour$CASINOAMERICA$Ogden Museum ProjectIn Exile Close to the EquatorYouth Performance Projects
Academic Lectures & WorkshopsAmerican Mantra & Other Rituals CDOther Creative Madness and Locuras
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