Matías Umpierrez is an interdisciplinary artist who produces works in theatrical, audiovisual, and curatorial projects. For more than a decade, his projects have been noted for their innovation in challenging the limits of their own media and creating a dialogue between video, live art, and site specific interventions. His works have been presented by Buenos Aires’ premier theatres, cultural centers, and museums, including institutions like the Centro Cultural San Martín, Complejo Teatral de Buenos Aires, and Museo MALBA (Buenos Aires), as well as the Museo Pinacoteca de Sāo Paulo (Brazil); MoMA (Museum of Modern Art, NY); the Museo Reina Sofía and Spain’s National Dramatic Centre-CDN (Madrid, Spain); the Oficina Cultural Oswald de Andrade in Sāo Paulo (Brazil), Donostia Kultura (Basque Country, Spain); Casa E Bogotá (Colombia), Lincoln Center Film Society of New York, and the Festival de Manizales (Colombia), among others.
Umpierrez’ projects have included TeatroSOLO-LONEtheater (an intervention which has been produced in Buenos Aires, Graus, Sāo Paulo, Madrid, and San Sebastián and Portland); Distancia (a virtual theatre piece), dramaHOME (an performance/intervention with its world premiere in Bogotá, Colombia), Paisaje (video), Clínica de la Obsesión (a global artists’ clinic presented in various cities around the world), 4 Mujeres Bailan (video), Gente Favorita (theatre), Cuionera Tropical (performance), La Flauta Mágica (The Magic Flute) (opera), and Novela (theatre).
Honors and awards include Iberescena’s fellowship for young directors (2009) and an honorable mention in playwriting from Argentina’s National Arts Fund (Fondo Nacional de las Artes) (2010) for his play Manual de instrucciones para un hijo sin vocación. In 2014, BGH named Umpierrez one of the 100 most innovative Argentines in the last 100 years. In 2016, he was the guest of honor, as a young artist of importance, of the Proryv Prize in St. Petersburg, Russia. He is currently the artist who won by the Rolex Mentor Protegé Prize, awarded to one international theatre artist every two years. For that reason, in 2016-17, Umpierrez will be in contact with his mentor Rober Lepage.
As a curator, in 2007 he was brought on by the Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) as the Coordinator for the Theatre Section of the legendary Rector Ricardo Rojas Cultural Center. From that time until 2014 he created acclaimed curatorial projects, bringing together visual, theatre, and film artists; among these included: “Óperas Primas” (“First Works”), “Laboratorio Teatro” (“Theatre Lab”), “Panorama en Work in Progress” (“Panorama in Work in Progress”), “Proyecto Manual” (“Manual Project”), “Decálogo: indagaciones sobre los 10 mandamientos” (“Decalogue: Inquiries into the 10 Commandments”), “Intervenciones/Rojas” (“Interventions/Rojas”), and the “Proyecto Clásico” (“Classic Project”). Thanks to projects like “Óperas Primas” (First Works), more than 20 emerging artists were discovered. In total, through his curatorial projects for this institution, more than 80 productions and performance pieces were created by noted Argentine and international artists.
Also as a curator, in 2014 he founded the International Festival of European and American Plays (Festival Internacional de Dramaturgia Europa+América), in which Argentine directors direct plays by foreign playwrights, as presented by independent theatres in Buenos Aires. This Festival is a co-production with international institutions and noted independent theatres in the city of Buenos Aires.