Telma João Santos

Photo credits: Telma João Santos

Artist statement

My name is Telma João Santos and I define myself as a performance artist and a researcher in between mathematics and performance studies. I believe in transdisciplinary approaches to map and allow new identities and new territories to arise. My performance art pieces are part of an autoethnographic research, where multiplicity and in betweenness are discussed and presented within actual identities.

Some essential questions are: how do we (re) present ourselves today? How can improvisation techniques be a tool to defy normative structures? How can we transform restricted spaces and movement into a dictionary without meaning per se? Mapping new identities and new ways of living, loving, being in the world, is the next future. It is about finding comfort where it’s supposed to be about emptiness, to find opportunity where we’re supposed to confront a closed door, to find others where they aren’t supposed to be. To love when and where we should not care. To reverberate the actual world, not entertaining people around it.

My main interests and motivations when creating are related with the artistic possibilities from the fundamental questions: how do the world germinate, how do we germinate ourselves, how do we germinate our surroundings and how can we understand ways of co-living? I have been experimenting some methodologies using the idea of technology and ”natural world” in the same body, questioning structures of power through manifests and inviting different people – I am now developing a project with a black female lesbian violinist, a male gay dancer and farmer, a nonbinary designer and a trans performance artist and we are together thinking about how can we work together, how can we negotiate several germinations: multicentric performative perspectives, non-conformal re-existences and resistances, as well as germinating plants and flowers and vegetables and fruits. Presenting different settings where the idea of difference, multi-species, conflict and confrontation are put together, allowing new ways of perceiving landscapes of living and co-living possibilities.

I spent 20 years as a university teacher and performance artist in an interconnected way and my international career is based on performances presented at conferences: On a Multiplicity at the meeting “Tactical Bodies: The choreography of nondancing subjects”, at UCLA, Lis Angeles; Local Estimates for Minimizers, embodied techniques and self-re-presentations within Performance Art at the meeting “Imagine Maths 7 – Mathematics and Culture”, Venice, Italy; or Teia, presented at the meeting “III Encuentro Internacional Mujer Creadora”, Los Santos de Maiomona, Spain, among others.

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