Mariel Carranza was born and raised in Perú and came to Los Angeles in 1980 where she studied at Los Angeles City College with Raoul De La Sota before transferring to UCLA where she received a B.A. in Studio Art and M.F.A in Sculpture. As an immigrant who regularly exhibits in Los Angeles, nationally and internationally, the performances Carranza makes underscore the fractured and complicated identities and structural complexities in the politics of the body, location, language and multiple histories.
As part of Los Angeles’ performance art ecosystem she has developed a practice contingent on seeing a cross-cultural art discourse that engages with public art more so than exhibiting in conventional art spaces. Carranza is committed to finding ways to make her work more accessible to broader non-traditional art-seeking audiences. Her artistic goals and practice rely on creating performances that complicate concepts of time and space. Her signature work involves temporary social sculpture coupled with elements of highly intensive duration, endurance and repetition. These methods transform both the living matter in the work and the witnesses and spectators of the work in both actual (live) and flexible (post-performance) time. As a deaf artist, performance has enabled her to treat her body as an antenna and to utilize this form as a vector exposing the ways language becomes malleable in the hands of those who embody communication when a mastery of spoken language is elusive or available.
Carranza’s work has been presented locally and internationally at venues including the Hammer Museum, Highways, 18th Street Art Center, LACE, Track 16, Woodbury University, MorYork Gallery, Human Resources, Perform Chinatown, Situation Room, Latitud 32 N / 55 S. Festival (Berlin/Cologne), National Review of Live Art (Glasgow), CONTEXTS Festival (Sokolowsko, Poland), Belfast International Performance Art Festival, First International Festival (Chihuahua, Mexico), Performancear or Morir (Sierra Tarahuamara, Norogachi, Mexico), Erarta Museum (Saint Petersburg, Russia), Crossing Zones = Language = Land (Stanglinec, Croatia), and The Festival Hall (South Bank Centre, London, UK).