Carlos Maria Romero aka Atabey Mamasita (Colombia, 1979) is a multidisciplinary artist with a background in dance and live art, working in the fields of performing and visual arts, heritage and architectural activism, pedagogy and curating. Maria Romero is the third member of SPIT! (Sodomites, Perverts, Inverts Together!) with whom they wrote and continue to present a series of queer manifestos responding to contemporary pressing issues of sexual and gender oppression (initially part of Frieze Projects 2017); and a member of Vividero Colectivo, a Colombian group of multidisciplinary artists and architects revealing narratives in which historically marginalised social practices and architectural goods are (re-)claimed as cultural heritage. Carlos Maria Romero is also an associate artist of ice&fire, an organisation addressing positive change in the world through performance and arts practices in relation to human rights.
For World AIDS Day 2018, Maria Romero presented in London A House of Ecstatic Virality, a dance and movement practice work commissioned by Auto Italia South East in collaboration with HIV activists, Health professionals and volunteers from METRO Charity’s Latinx and Polish communities programme. Using methodologies for communal dance and conversation, the work creates a celebratory, sober, embodied and life affirming environment for people to explore together HIV related issues in a safe, relaxed and supportive manner.
Most recent projects include HQ - (I Feel so Mezzaniney), a performance in collaboration with Steven Warwick presented in 2018 at Volksbühne, Berlin and at London Contemporary Music Festival inside the co-working space Second Home; and the performance series Muy Serio presented since 2018 in Bogotá, Barcelona, Margate and most recently at Stretch Festival in Berlin, Royal Academy of Arts and Selfridges State Of the Arts Programme in London, and Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge.
In 2016 Maria Romero’s collaboration with Studio Sam Causer, Blushing Pavilion –a temporary exhibition in a seaside shelter presenting 250 years of the intersection between architecture, seaside culture and sexuality in Margate, UK– was featured in the book New Architects 3, launched at The British Pavilion during the Venice Architecture Bienal, and was presented at Without Borders LGBTQ+ Archive, Libraries, Museums & Special Collections Conference in London. With the same collaborator they have since 2015 developed research and successful associated strategies to promote a long stretch of historic public space that have suffered decades of underinvestment and who they called Margate Coastal Park, and which influenced various aspects of local planning. One of those strategies was a celebratory programme of events and commissions that Maria Romero curated in September 2016 that was backed by more than 2000 visitors.
Also in 2016 in partnership with dancer Ted Rogers they created for people aged 50+ Vogue-Chi, a movement practice mixing principles of Voguing and Tai Chi, that organically evolved into a multigenerational queer and allies safe space for self-expression and coming together. Vogue-Chi facilitates a spectrum of spiritual principles historically developed by LGBTQI+ people to engage positively in life and overcome institutionalised oppression, invisibilization and abuse. Since its start Vogue-Chi reached carers, school teachers, queer young persons and a variety of people with different cultural backgrounds; and in 2017 was part of the programme of Hiroshima (Barcelona); Queer Fun (an offshoot of doctoral research about Duckie’s work with marginalised people and hidden queer histories) at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, London; Margate Women’s Institute; the live exhibition Trajal Harrell: Hoochie Koochie at The Barbican; Vooruit (Gent); STRETCH Festival (Berlin), and since 2018 was provided through Micro Rainbow International to LGBTI asylum seekers.
In 2014 Maria Romero co-curated with Inti Guerrero (Estrellita B. Brodsky Adjunct Curator of Latin American Art at TATE) the exhibition Josephine Baker & Le Corbusier in Rio - a transatlantic affair at the Museo de Arte do Rio de Janeiro. From 2009 to 2012 Maria Romero was a lecturer in Colombia at the Department of Visual Arts at Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano and at the Performing Arts Department of Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, and was the curator of The Universities Platform for Dance and The Universities Festival of Contemporary Dance, and designed the Dance BA of Atlantico Public University in Barranquilla.
Maria Romero was in 2016 as an associated artist during On Margate Sands, an Archives and Access programme led by Tate, Britain and Turner Contemporary and worked during 4 months with a group of young persons from Kent Foster Care Association. Maria Romero has mentored other artists and delivered workshops for different age groups in educational and professional frames like University of Lincoln, De Montfort University in Leicester, Hochschule der Künste Bern, or during the participatory research process for a public art commission by NEON at Merhyr Tydfil, Wales, when Maria Romero facilitated Make public space public again! Or how to embody an architecture of friendship?
Maria Romero studied Dance and Choreography, and Government and International Affairs between Germany and Colombia, and graduated with Laurée Merit from the Interdisciplinary MA in Live Art & Theatre at the National University of Colombia.
Maria Romero’s performances, art works, contributions and co-creations has been shown in mainly but not exclusively in Europe and the Americas including: Galería Santa Fé, Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Bogotá; Fonderie Darling, Montreal; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; La Poderosa, Hiroshima, Espai Erre, Barcelona; ETOPIA - Centre for Arts & Technology, Zaragoza, and ENSEMS - Festival for Contemporary Music of Valencia; Opera House Tokyo; Cirque Royal, Brussels; Museu Serralves, Porto; Uferstudios Berlin; Il faut brûler pour briller, Paris; Moderna Dans Theatre, Stockholm; Arco Madrid; Abrons Arts Center during Performa13 and Emergency Glitter, and The Spectrum, New York; Arsenic, Lausanne; Réunion and Tanzhaus Zürich; and in the UK at Turner Contemporary, RESORT Studios, and in London at Vogue Fabrics, Sadler’s Wells, David Roberts Art Foundation, The Tanks/TATE, The Serpentine Gallery, and Highgate Cemetery during Good Grief, a series of events organised by The Architecture Foundation.
Carlos Maria Romero is based between Colombia, United Kingdom and Germany and is currently coursing the Postgraduate Studies at The Royal Academy of Arts.