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The Wound and the Knife:

Emilio García Wehbiand Maricel Álvarez
Artistic Residency in Mexico


Mexico has spent over ten years at the mercy of an overwhelming terror. In this context, theater productions in the country have sought to denounce the situation in diverse ways. Violence, as a theme and as a theatrical device, has been continually present on our stages.


However, following a decade of powerful proposals, projects and creators are emerging that raise alternative possibilities about how to test the relationship between fiction and reality. At the same time, the stage is questioning the ethics of this presentation and representation of the most savage side of human life, above all in the knowledge that the cruel theatricality of phenomena such as drugs trafficking and violenceagainst women will always be more devastating.


What is happening with this territory of fear and mourning? In 2016 the curators of the performing arts program at the Museo Universitario del Chopo focused on working with this question starting with a key: how do we go about making the present situation a habitable space?


In the knowledge that few performing artists in the world have explored the terrain of violence with such power and perseverance, the museum invited Maricel Álvarez and Emilio GarcíaWehbi to take part in this reflection with a comprehensive and ambitious residency that includes the presentation of the performance Herodes Reloaded (where childhood and violence are the protagonists), the presentation of their books Casa quearde and Yotenía un alma buena, a conversation space intended to go deeper into this ethical questioning as well as the production, in partnership with nine multidisciplinary Mexican artists, of a new stage work, which will present the final performance of its first season on the same date that the war on drugs in Mexico began in 2006.


The intention remains to discover, in the power of the theatrical gathering, some answers that restore to us, even if only for a moment, irrefutable proof of hope.


Mariana Gándara

Coordinator of Performance Arts, Museo Universitario del Chopo

Herodes Reloaded

Neo-Situationist performance based on the text of the same name written by Emilio García Wehbi, reflecting on childhood and the capitalist system via different visual and filmic references.


For García Wehbi, capitalism tames people’s childhoods; the excessive buying of toys and similar products activates the consumer market. This work denounces filicide (a crime against children), and the violence of power and alienation that is controlled by the desire to acquire objects. It proposes that the body of a child belongs to the desires of its parents, and to the manifestation of a culture and an epoch.


The performance makes reference to a number of philosophical and psychological texts (by Charles Fourier and Michel Foucault, among others) and different myths. It employs fragments from the films Emperor Tomato Ketchup, by Shuji Terayama and Pensées et visions d'une tête coupée, by Olivier Smolders and Johan van den Driessche; and the music of the female Japanese punk group Nisennenmondai and Schubert.


La Columna Durruti (originally comprising Emilio García Wehbi, Maricel Álvarez, Marcelo Martínez and Julieta Potenze) presents the trilogy comprising the works:Herodes reloaded (2015), commissioned and produced by the Espacio de Arte of the Fundación OSDE, Buenos Aires, Argentina; La chinoise (2016); and En la caverna de Platónestá la cabeza de medusa (2017).



November 5, 2016, 7.00 pm
Free entry









Herodes Reloaded 2

Fotografía: Nora Lezano


Herodes Reloaded 1

Fotografía: Nora Lezano

Book Presentations


Casa que arde(Burning House)
De Emilio García Wehbi


Yo tenía un alma buena (fragmentos de un relato mutilado)(I had a Good Soul (Fragments of a Mutilated Story))
De Maricel Álvarez


November 10, 2016, 8.00 pm
Free entry



Casa que arde


Emilio GarcíaWehbi adapts the well-known work for theater The House of Bernarda Alba, by poet and playwright Federico García Lorca. Wehbi treats the home as a closed, microfascist space, where the female is submitted to a phallocentric and religious structure that suppresses her power and will.


Casa que arde presents, from a contemporary perspective, a male-dominated society that takes the female body hostage. In undertaking this analysis the author refers to Male Fantasies by the German sociologist Klaus Theweleit; Invention of Hysteria by art historian Michel Didi-Huberman; the visual and textual universe of U.S. writer Henry Darger; the music of Gustav Mahler; and the U.S. reality show Little Miss Perfect, together with a number of Greek myths.


These materials are part of the formal and conceptual guidelines focused on the oppressive structure of male discourse, elements that permit a poetic reflection around the problem of gender.


Yo tenía un alma buena (fragmentos de un relato mutilado)

Maricel Álvarez presents this publication containing images and fragments of the performance theater video-installation of the same name, created by the artist in partnership with Santiago Loza, Nora Lezano, Marcelo Martínez and Martín Churba, and held at the Espacio de Arte of the Fundación OSDE (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2013).


This piece addresses themes such as death and the notion of the double: “this shadow, which we are unsure if it stalks us or accompanies us through our lives,” Álvarez says. The black and white images of water are a poetic record of fragments of a naked body in movement.


“…My whole body smells of skin. If it were to be separated from my flesh like a cloth and stretched out, you would see how thin the skin is…” she says, while her fragile, seated body, as if it were a line sketching a 90-degree angle in space, makes minimal gestures. Meanwhile, a double screen projects a double image of gentle waves. The undulation of her naked body in the water, the imperceptible movement of a hand, the floating tangled hair, a light that splinters in the reflection or a floating, slipping in black and white that threatens the overall stillness.


When did Yo tenía un alma buena (fragmentos de un relato mutilado) take place? When the video was shot? In the performance by the artist? Or in this book?


“In reality, when we invited Maricel Álvarez to think about a project for this institution,” explains María Teresa Constatin, curator at the Espacio de Arte of the Fundación OSDE, Buenos Aires, Argentina, “we did it knowing that she was an actress whose practice, from the point of view of theater, allowed her to explore different artistic disciplines and formats with total freedom. We thought of someone who stood on the boundaries of pure theater and who could go in and out of other media and subvert them. She worked with complete freedom and the result was an artistic action that is hard to categorize. When later we proposed publishing this book, she surprised us once again.




Casa que arde libro




Yo ten´pia alma buena 1


La ética de la presentación y la representación de la violencia


18 de noviembre de 2016, 20:00 hrs.

Entrada libre


Participan: Maricel Álvarez, Emilio García Wehbi, Diego Álvarez Robledo y David Gutiérrez.


Laboratorio de creación


En colaboración con creadores multidisciplinarios mexicanos, Maricel Álvarez y Emilio García Wehbi desarrollarán la pieza 65 sueños de Kafka según Guatarri.


7 a 23 de noviembre de 2016
Lunes a viernes 11:00 a 16:00 hrs.


Participan: Luis Eduardo Yee; Fernanda Echevarría del Rivero; Iazua Larios; Roldán Ramírez Gutiérrez; Stéphanie Janaina; María Luna; y Daniela Arroio.



65 sueños de Kafka según Guatarri


"He aquí ahora la campana del reloj distante, cuyos sones se atenúan

a medida que nos hundimos más profundamente en la salvaje comarca

del sueño. Es el tañido fúnebre de una muerte temporaria.

Nuestro espíritu ha huido; vagabundea, ciudadano libre, entre los habitantes

de un universo umbroso..."


Natahniel Hawthorne, The haunted mind.


65 sueños de Kafka según Guatarri es una puesta en escena basada en el libro Sesenta y cinco sueños de Kakfa, del psicoanalista y filósofo francés Félix Guatarri, el cual reúne una serie de ensayos acerca de la actividad onírica del escritor Franz Kafka.


Emilio Wehbi y Maricel Álvarez utilizan esta publicación como disparador para realizar una experiencia escénica que sitúa a los cuerpos de los performers en el intersticio breve llamado “duermevela”, el cual sucede durante el tránsito de la vigilia al sueño y viceversa. En este estado el cerebro es susceptible a la producción de enigmáticas composiciones poéticas, visuales y auditivas que –potenciadas por procesos sinestésicos– se desenvuelven entre el consciente y el inconsciente.


La obra habita el espacio escénico, y se apoya en la interdisciplinariedad, la fisicalidad  y la simultaneidad para construir su plataforma expresiva.


24 de noviembre a 11 de diciembre de 2016

Jueves y viernes, 20:00 hrs.
Sábados, 19:00 hrs.
Domingos, 18:00 hrs.

General: $100; estudiantes, maestros, INAPAM, UNAM: $50

  65 sueños de Kafka

Emilio GarcíaWehbi (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1964). An interdisciplinary artist who works at the crossover point of different stage languages. In 1989 he founded El periférico de objetos, an important experimental theater group in Argentina. His shows, operas, performances, installations and urban interventions have been presented in the Americas, Europe, Oceania and Asia and he has been awarded several international prizes.


He is the author of the books Artaud: lengua ∞ madre; Casa que arde; Luzazul; Communitas; Botella en un mensaje; and Ensayo sobre la tristeza.


His stage works include: Atlas provisorio de Buenaventura (2016); La chinoise (2016); El grado cero del insomnio (2015); Herodes Reloaded (2015); Artaud 1: lengua∞ madre (2015); Casa que arde (2015);Vértigo (2014); 58 Indicios sobre el cuerpo (2014); Rey Lear (2013); Aurora (2013); Luzazul (2013); Cuando el bufón se canse de reír (2012); Prefiero que me quite el sueño Goya a que lo haga cualquier hijo de puta (2012); Hécuba o el gineceo canino (2011); El (a)parecido (2010); Aura (2010); Dr. Faustus (2010); Chacales y árabes (2009); El matadero. Un comentario (2009); Dolor exquisito (2008); El matadero (serie I, II, III, VI, V, VI; 2008-2003); Jakob von Gunten (2008); Woyzeck (2006); Bambiland (2005); La balsa de la medusa (2005); Lucha libre (2005); Proyecto Filoctetes (2007-2002); Anna O.(2004); Moby Dick (2003); Los murmullos (2002); Sin voces (1999); Manifiesto de niños (2005); La última noche de la humanidad (2002); Monteverdi método bélico (2000); Zooedipous (1998); Máquina Hamlet (1995); Cámara Gesell (1994); and El hombre de arena (1992), among others.


For further information see:


Maricel Álvarez (Argentina). Actress, director, choreographer and teacher. Her practice unfolds at the crossover of theater, performance, dance and visual arts. This interdisciplinary focus arises from her artistic and academic training.


She studied literature at the University of Buenos Aires and with leading teachers of contemporary theater and dance. She has worked with Emilio García Wehbi since 1999; as well as with El Periférico de Objetos, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Sophie Calle, Santiago Loza, Rubén Szchumacher, Woody Allen, Marcelo Delgado, Alejandro Tantanian, Martín Churba, Nora Lezano and Diana Szeinblum, among others.


The projects she has worked on have been presented in major theaters in Argentina and other countries, such as the Teatro Colón; Teatro Argentino de La Plata; Teatro San Martín; Centro Cultural Kirchner; Konzert Theater Bern (Switzerland); Berliner Festspiele (Germany); Akademie der Künste Berlin (Germany); Teatro El Galeón (INBA, Mexico City).


She has presented her work as an actress and/or director in different festivals in Germany, Brazil, France, Colombia, Chile, Belgium, Japan, Spain and Mexico. She teaches on the Masters in Theater and Performance at the National University of the Arts (UNA, Buenos Aires); she is curator of the international artists selection at the Performance Biennial (BP.17, Buenos Aires); and a member of the selection committee for works from Argentina for the Buenos Aires International Festival (FIBA) in 2017.





Fotografía: Nora Lezano



Fotografía: Sebastián-Arpesella














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