Education – Art – Film – Theater

Master in Fine Arts with a specialization in Art Studio / Painting, University of Houston, 2008
Bachelor of Arts with specialization in Cinema-Television, University of California, Los Angeles, 1995
New York University, Intensive Film Workshop, 1983
Film Workshop, Third World Newsreel, New York, 1983
University of Costa Rica, School of Theater 1979-1981
National University of Costa Rica, Dance 1979-1981

Film and Video Shorts / Writer & Director

“Sunset Line,” digital video
“I just hope that my body rots at the sound of a stretch,” 16mm, 10min.
“Unplug!” Video 8, color, 15 min.
“A few little pricks,” 16mm black and white, 5 min.


2015 – Festival Movimientos Desplegados “Dialogues with the Market”. San Jose Costa Rica
2014 – Installations of photoperformance, videos and film in Central Gallery, Costa Rica. Invited by International Festival of the Arts.
2012 – Installation of photoperformance and video in the National Gallery of Costa Rica. Invited by the International Festival of the Arts.
2011 – Installation /workshop – Photography Biennial, Multimedia Art Conservatory, Bamako, Mali.
2011 – Installation /Lecture, Universidad Panamericana, Edinburgh, Tx.
2011 – “Small Retrospective,” outdoor patio, MADC, Costa Rica.
2011 – “Small Retrospective,” Women’s Museum, Costa Rica.
2010 – “Dust of Gold,” installation / performance, University of Loyola, Los Angeles, Ca.
2009 -10 – “Light Green / Dark Green,” Project Row Houses, Houston, Tx. A six month green installation inside a row house.
2009 – “The Mourning of the Pin-Up Girl,” 516 Arts in Albuquerque, New Mexico. LAS HOCICONAS, curated by Delilah Montoya and Laura Pérez.
2008 – 2009 “The Long Count II,” DiverseWorks Space Art, Houston, Texas. Curator Mary Ross-Taylor.
2008 – “The Golden Era,” live performance and video performance installation at Blaffer Gallery, Houston, Tx. Performed with the Housekeeping supervisor of the School of Arts.
2008 – “The Long Count I,” live performance and video installation at the Small Projects Gallery, Houston Tx. 2008/2005 – “Tricorn Negro”, installation of video performance in Blaffer Gallery, Houston, Tx.
2007 – “I prefer to die of love than for nothing at all,” installation of video performance.30 min. Gallery G, Houston, Tx.
2006 – “Death Count,” live performance with two projectors facing each other with the projected image of the opponent.
2005 – “To Belong,” video loop and still photo. Presented at the University of Houston.
2005 – “The Violence of Certainty,” installation of video and live performance. Two B/W projections and one color.
2004 – “The Fifth Commandment,” installation of two projections. Presented at the Yerba Buena Arts Center, San Francisco.

Theater Experimental and Performance Art

2017 – “Silenced within Me,” created, written and directed for Teatro Gala, Washington DC. With Latina women victims of domestic violence.
2015 – Festival Movimientos Desplegados “Dialogues with the Market,” Central Market, San Jose, Costa Rica.
2012 – “Orellana,” performance with the instruments created by the Guatemalan composer and inventor Joaquín Orellana in collaboration with the orchestra of laptops of the Experimental Center of the University-.
2012 – “San Dia,” interdisciplinary happening created with dancers inspired by the farmer’s fairs.
2012- “Workshop on Urban Interventions,” Danza Joven, Costa Rica.
2012 – “Rio Pirro,” created and directed with the Dance Company UNA, Costa Rica.
2012 – “The Speech,” Urban Intervention as part of the FIA 2012.
2012 – “First Woman on the Moon,” Theater 1887, guest of the FIA 2012 Costa Rica.
2009 – “The -Fifth Commandment,” live performance, International Theater Festival, Banska Bystrica, Slovakia.
2009 – “Here to Stay,” created with a group of Latina immigrant women from Los Angeles. Presented by FITLA and the organization Health Access for Mothers and Children.
2006 – “GULLIVER,” series of Photo Performances commissioned by Espacio C, Santander, Spain & Saro León Gallery, Gran Canaria, Spain. Presented during ARCO Madrid & the Biennial in Cuba.
2004-06 – “The Fifth Commandment,” (director, writer, performer along with US Marines), commissioned by JumpStart, San Antonio; DiverseWorks, Houston & the Yerba Buena Arts Center, San Francisco.
2003-4 – “First Woman on the Moon,” (director, writer, performer) Los Angeles International Theater Festival (FITLA), Mayo Teatral, Cuba and Festival Desviaciones, Madrid, Spain, 2001.
2003 – “The Fruitvale Project”, (director, co-writer, performer with San Francisco poets) conceived with Paul Flores, created with artists, Paul Flores, Melissa Lozano, Jime Salcedo-Malo, Pablo Nerudo, Rico Pabon & choreographer Rashad commissioned by The La Pena Cultural Center, Berkeley, Ca.
2002 – “Only Drinking Containers,” (performer, writer) Highways, Santa Monica; San Francisco, UCLA, San Jose, UC Berkley, Oakland Museum.
2001 – “Post-Dramatic Stress Disorder” and “She Nose” (Facilitator / director), a marathon of Central American performances in CARECEN; “Thick Roots,” La Peña Cultural Center, Latin American Theater Festival in Oakland, Ca.
2000 – “Unchanging Evidence of Identity,” musical poems with visual collage presented at the Huntington Theater in Los Angeles, One Voice Conference in Albany & Joshua Tree Cultural Center.
1999 – “Dont Tell Anybody: Washington DC” (creator / director), created with Latina women with AIDS, who acted their realities. Presented by the Hispano Gala Theater in Washington DC and the Washington Performing Arts Society in collaboration with People’s Clinic and Whitman Walker. Presented in Los Angeles for the National Conference of Women with AIDS at the Los Angeles Convention Center and the Grand Wilshire Hotel; “With Our Breasts On The Table” (director and writer) created with workers of cancer and presented by People’s Clinic at People’s House, Washington, DC.
1998 – “Al Rojo Vivo”(creator / writer / director), in collaboration with Lizbeth Mullings, presented by DiverseWorks in Houston, TX .; “QUAC: Population 7” (director), created with performer presented at DiverseWorks, Houston, TX; “An Intimate and Terrible Aloneness” (director) written by Keith Antar Mason presented by the Minneapolis Center for Playwrights, MN.
1997 – “The Problem with Reality is That They Are Too Many of Them”(creator / writer / performer), DiverseWorks in Houston, TX .; “The Party” (co-creator / director) live performance created with the group The Sacred Naked Nature Girls presented at Highways, Santa Monica, CA.; “Do not Tell Anybody: Houston Tx.” (creator / director) created with a group of Latina women with AIDS in Houston, Tx., presented at DiverseWorks, Hope Center in San Antonio, and the National Conference of Minority Women with AIDS in Houston, TX
1994-96 – Stretching My Skin Until It Rips Whole (creator / writer / performer / director), Contemporary Art Exhibitions in Los Angeles; Space for Performance 122, New York (premiere), DiverseWorks, Houston; JumpStart, San Antonio, Boston Center for the Arts; Highways Performance Space, Santa Monica, CA; Festival Rompeforma, Puerto Rico; New Langton Arts, San Francisco.¨
1993-95 – “I Have So Many Stitches that Sometimes I Dream that I’m Sick” (creator / writer / performer / director) Highways in Santa Monica, CA; Danger Zone at the X-Teresa Arte Alternativo, Mexico City; UCLA Arts and Cultures of the World; Institute of Contemporary Art in London; Los Angeles Arts Festival.
1992 – “Broken Language /Dialogue of Doubt” (co-creator / co-writer / collaborative performance) with Jeff McMahon & Keith Antar Mason, Dance Theater Workshop, New York.
1990 – “Maid Please Make up Room/Please Do Not Disturb (Creator / co-writer / performer / director), created in collaboration with the chambermaids of the residence at the Center for Performing Arts in Banff, Canada.

Bibliographies and Publications

LATIN INITIATIVES IN THE SMITHSONIAN: ‘Violence and Identity in the Performance of Elia Arce’ by Gustavo Adolfo Guerra Vásquez
CONJUNTO MAGAZINE: ‘The Geography of a Woman’ by Bya Braga
Heresies No 27: LATINA: A Journal of Ideas, 1993, p. 28
High Performance: A Quarterly Magazine of the New Arts, No 61, Spring 1993, pp. 36-37 Dimensions of the Americas: Art and Social Change in Latin America and the United States, By Shifra M. Goldman, University of Chicago Press, 1995, pp. 78, 234, 371.
Let’s Get It On: The Politics of Black Performance, edited by Catherine Ugwu, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London / Bay Press, Seattle, 1995, pp. 108-111.
Art Nexus: The Nexus Between Latin America and the Rest of the World, No. 20 “Performances in the Danger Zones I” by Sifra M. Goldman, June 1996, pp. 62-66.
Out of Character: Rants, Raves, and Monologues from Today’s Top Performance Artists, by Mark Russell, Bantam Books, 1997, pp. 23-31.
Archipiélago: cultural magazine of our America, Issues 10-14, Confluencia S.A. de C.V., 1997, “Healing Stages” by Eric Gutierrez, Nov. 1999, p. 84.
Text and Performance Quarterly, Volume 20 / no. 2, Meiling Cheng “Elia Arce’s Performance Art: Transculturation, Feminism, Politicized Individualism “April 2000, pp. 151-181.
Texas Art Journal # 28: ARTL! ES,” Elia Arce: Performances and Multimedia / Performances and multimedia “by Surpik Angelini and Abdel Hernandez, Fall 2000, pp. 26-30.
Latinas on stage, Alicia Arrizón, Third Woman Press, 2000, published excerpt of “Stretching my Skin until it Rips Whole”
Making it in America: A Sourcebook on Eminent Ethnic Americans, by Elliott Robert Barkan, ABC-CLIO, 2001, p. 19.
In Other Los Angeleses: Multicentric Performance Art, By Meiling Cheng,
Chapter 4:Elia Arce: A Skin Test and a Tongue Transplant University of California Press, 2002, pp. 134-173.
GESTOS: Teoria y Practica del Teatro Hispanico, Ano 18/No.36, “Facing Memory after the Disappearance of (The Body)” by Surpik Angelini, Nov. 2003, pp. 27-42.
Artists’ Material Practices: The Ideology of Funding and Support for Independent Performing Artists, Paul Andre Bonin, ProQuest, 2008, pp. 75, 85-86, 172.
Woman’s Art Journal, Volume 29, “LATINA IDENTITY: RECONCILING RITUAL, CULTURE, AND BELONGING” By Stacy E. Schultz, University of California, 2008, pp. 13-22.
More Or Less Dead: Feminicide, Haunting, and the Ethics of Representation in Mexico, Alice Driver, University of Arizona Press, 2015, pp. 142-43, 153, 172-73.

Mentions / Quotes

Archipiélago: revista cultural de nuestra América, Issues 10-14, Confluencia S.A. de C.V., 1997, pp. 58-65.
Hacia otra historia del arte en México: Disolvencias (1960-2000), by Esther Acevedo, Conaculta, 2001, p. 44.
Encyclopedia of Contemporary Latin American and Caribbean Cultures, Daniel Balderston, Mike Gonzalez, Ana M. Lopez, Routledge, 2002, p. 1135.
Herencia, By Nicolas Kanellos, Kenya Dworkin y MAlejandra Balestra, Oxford University Press, USA, 2002, p. 626.
Body Blows: Six Performances, By Tim Miller, Univ of Wisconsin Press, 2002, p. 36.
La intervención artística de la ciudad de México, Alma B. Sánchez. Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 2003, p. 147.
How to Make Dances in an Epidemic: Tracking Choreography in the Age of AIDS, By David Gere, Univ of Wisconsin Press, 2004, p. 50.
Teatro, prensa y nuevas tecnologías (1990-2003): actas del XIII Seminario Internacional del Centro de Investigación de Semiótica Literaria, Teatral y Nuevas Tecnologías, Madrid, UNED, 25-27 de junio de 2003, Visor Libros, 2004, p. 470.
Latino and Latina Writers: Introductory essays. Chicano and Chicana authors, by Alan West, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2004, pp. 91, 96-97.
Performing the Body/Performing the Text, edited by Amelia Jones, Andrew Stephenson Nfa, Andrew Stephenson, Routledge, 2005, p. 201.
Loca Motion: The Travels of Chicana and Latina Popular Culture, by Michelle Habell-Pallan, NYU Press, 2005, p. 103.
Artes de la escena y de la acción en España: 1978-2002, By José Antonio Sánchez, Joan Abellan, ARTEA, Univ de Castilla La Mancha, 2006, p. 320.
A Companion to Twentieth-Century American Drama, edited by David Krasner, Chapter 23: “Writing Beyond Borders: A Survey of US Latina/o Drama” Tiffany Ana Lopez, John Wiley & Sons, 15 abr. 2008, p.370 10 B, integración y resistencia en la era global, ed. Jorge Fernández Era, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam, 2009, pp.121, 394.
Engaging Performance: Theatre as Call and Response, Jan Cohen-Cruz, Routledge, 2010, p. 116.
Teatrología: nuevas perspectivas : homenaje a Juan Antonio Hormigón, Manuel F Vieites, Ñaque, Jan 1, 2010, pp. 351, 356.
Borderless Borders: U.S. Latinos, Latin Americans, and the Paradox of Interdependence, Frank Bonilla, Temple University Press, 2010, p. 131.
Current trends in Latino and Latin American performing arts, Beatriz J. Rizk, Ediciones Universal, 2010, pp. xii, xvi.
Perform, Repeat, Record: Live Art in History, By Amelia Jones, Adrian Heathfield, Intellect Books, 2012, p. 321.
Sex, Death and God in L.A., By David Reid, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2013.
Ethno-Techno: Writings on Performance, Activism and Pedagogy By Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Routledge, 2013, p. 36.

Selected Awards

Iberescena, Costa Rica/Spain
Fulbright Specialized Scholarship
National Performance Network
Individual Artist Complementary Fund
Rockefeller Foundation
Multi-Arts Production Fund
National Center for the Arts
Paul Getty Foundation, Los Angeles Cultural Affairs

Residencies y Commissions

Loyola University, Los Angeles, California
National Dance Company, National University, Costa Rica
Banff Center for the Arts, Canada
DiverseWorks, Houston, Texas
Performing Arts Society, Washington D.C.
Gala Hispanic Theatre, Washington D.C.
ICA, Londres
Conservatory of Multi-Media Arts, Bamako, Mali
X-Teresa Arte Alternativo, Mexico
Highways Performance Space, Santa Monica, California
La Peña Cultural Center, Berkeley, California
JumpStart, San Antonio, Texas
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, California
New World Theatre, New Amherst, Massachusetts
RedCat / FITLA, Los Angeles, California


2014 and 2015 – University of Costa Rica, School of Dramatic Arts and RIFED (Flashmobs Course, Urban Interventions and Performance)
2014 and 2015 – National University, School of Dance, Master Degree Program in Choreography (facilitator for choreographic montages for graduation and profesor of Performance)
2013 – National University, School of Dance. Master’s Degree Program (professor of Visual Arts in Choreography 1960 to present.
2010 – National University, School of Dramatic Arts. Intensive Performance Workshop. Award of the Fulbright Award.
2007 and 2008 – University of Houston, Tx. School of Fine Arts. Founder of Performance Art Laboratory course and the first Central American Performance Art class in the USA at Northridge University.