Laura Acosta and Santiago Tavera are a Colombian-Canadian artistic duo based in Montréal. Their collaborative practice forges an intersection between Tavera’s investigation of video practices, virtual and interactive environments in relation to the body, with Acosta’s exploration of identity through performance and textiles. Through this, they create immersive experiences and expanded performances that present narratives of displacement and experiences of the ‘other’. Their collaborative projects have been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and Le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. Since 2017 they have expanded their transdisciplinary collaboration through large scale exhibitions, workshops, and publications, which they have presented in Canada and abroad. In Canada, their most important accomplishments include solo exhibitions at Optica - un Centre d’art contemporain and MAI - Montréal, arts interculturels, along with their participation in group exhibitions and screenings at Articule, SUR Gallery, Projet Casa, La Géoparc UNESCO de Percé, MTL Connect - Printemps Numériques in Montréal and Belgium. Internationally, they have exhibited at the Changwon Sculpture Biennial in South Korea and the International Images Festival of Manizales in Colombia. They have also presented their work abroad through artist talks at Via Farini Residency in Milan, Italy and Art Souterrain festival in collaboration with the Museum of contemporary art in Mexico. Throughout this time, their works have also been mentioned in Vie des Arts magazine and Le Devoir newspaper, along with the publications ‘Vues Transversales: Panorama de la scène artistique latino-québécoise” and “Ecocene: Cappadocia Journal of Environmental Humanities”. They have also broadened their artistic practice through community engagement in the form of workshops, where they guide participants to create small audio-visual compositions using their own practice as a methodology for creating transdisciplinary art. These have been presented in Montreal at the Theatre Department of Concordia University, as well as abroad, at the International Symposium on Electronic Art - ISEA in Colombia. Additionally, they have been nominated for the renowned Plein Sud award for their artistic accomplishments in Quebec in 2021, and in 2023 they were long listed for the Sobey Art Award from the National Gallery of Canada.
Santiago Tavera is an artist, researcher and curator based in Montréal. Tavera’s practice revolves around constructing immersive and interactive projects that expand the body and perception through digital media, to evoke virtual simulations of migrant and queer narratives of dislocation. In Tavera’s work, mixed media compositions of videos, 3D graphic animations, text, sound, archival material and architectural elements create blurred experiences of physical and virtual spatial embodiments of the “other”. Tavera holds a Master of Fine Arts in Intermedia from Concordia University, and a Bachelor of Arts with an Honor Specialization in Visual Arts and a Major in Psychology from Western University. www.santiagotavera.com
Laura Acosta creates absurdist scenes that integrate improvised movement, textile structures and multimedia elements, as a way to explore themes of identity and representation. Her audio-visual compositions depict objects or individuals in a constant process of identification, translation or adaptation in order to create ephemeral moments of displacement in both public and private settings. Laura has exhibited her performance work, as well as presented performance based workshops, both nationally and internationally. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Fibres and Material studies from Concordia University, an interdisciplinary Bachelor in Fine Art from NSCAD University, and an advanced diploma in Fine Arts from Fanshawe College. Currently, Laura works at Concordia University as the Head of Costumes in the Theatre Department. www.laura-acosta.com
Introduction: Maria B. Velasquez
Studio tests (2013)