Maria Orengo – ‘Ambition’ – Artist Q&A


On Saturday 9th July 2016, 6-9pm, Instigate Arts take over the main gallery space at HOME in Manchester to host our ‘Ambition’ pop-up exhibition. In this series of Q&A’s we get a little more insight into what makes some some of the participating artists tick. Here we speak with multi-disciplinary performance and visual artist Maria Orengo

Can you tell us about your practice?
My practice is multi-disciplinary, based in performance and the visual arts. Work often explores themes of dirt, delight, intimacy and identity in modern society. I am interested in exploring the boundaries of our social realities and questioning structures of socialisation, using the live body as a site for transgression.

I aim for my practice to be inclusive – to produce work that can be accessed and engaged with by a broad scope of people.

I work with strong visual images and humour, and often call for an audience to be active when receiving the work, whatever the medium.

How does your work relate to the themes of Ambition?
My work often uses or highlights materials that could be considered dirty. Base matter like shit, dirt, and mess can expose our inadequacies, our flaws, our vulnerabilities… things that get cast aside in the quest to achieve ambitions… but things that unite us as human. Why must we be clean cut to be successful? And what makes failure such a dirty word? Is there really any difference? I am interested in exposing the insecurities we hold around cleanliness/perfection/dirt and the relation of these to success/failure.

Do you think the themes of Ambition relate to the current political and social climate?
I think our drive to succeed and pursue high ‘ambitions’ has made us a culture of aspiration, rather than confrontation, and in the current political and social climate this has become more and more obvious. I believe we need to confront and challenge where common aspirations of wealth, identity and success have come from, to build new aspirations and ambitions based on inclusivity rather than exclusivity.

How important is the role of artists’, and the art world, in shaping both people’s lives, and the social and political landscape?
Whether fool, dreamer, philosopher or poet, activist, archivist, healer, destroyer… I see the role of the artist to continually challenge, interpret and re-interpret the world, in the hope of presenting new, alternative visions of reality, to challenge what we think we know… I hope that artists can be at once critical, generous and vulnerable in the way they operate in the world, in opposition to a society that is often dishonest and closed.

For more information about Maria’s work visit her website.

See Maria’s work alongside other participating artists at our Ambition pop-up exhibition:

Saturday 9th July 2016, 6-9pm
HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester, M15 4FN
This is a free event and everyone is welcome.


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