Emilio Rojas | One Night Stand Friday, July 24 from 5 - 9 PM
Emilio Rojas, "The Grass is Always Greener and/or Twice Stolen Land" 25 hour performance - Video Documentation 6 min, 2014
Back Gallery Project is pleased to present this farewell event with works by Mexican artist Emilio Rojas. Rojas has been living in unceded Coast Salish Territories (Vancouver) for the past 7 years, and will soon be leaving to Chicago. He was awarded a full scholarship for an MFA in the Performance Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), which will commence in September 2015.
We will be screening two videos “El Retorno” and “The Grass is Always Greener and/or Twice Stolen Land”, accompanied by new drawings and stills related to these two pieces. “El Retorno” is a stop motion animation of 9,000 photographs, created while attending a residency at the Botin Foundation, lead by artist Tacita Dean. “The Grass is Always Greener” is a 25 hour durational performance, where the artist rolls stolen grass for 7 km. from UBC, to Musqueam Reserve.
Both works engage with the complicated histories of colonialism of each site, Spain and Vancouver, through embodied decolonial gestures, movement and repetition. The act of rolling his own body and the land , both which deteriorate and transform through the route become dynamic metaphors of the unfolding narratives of colonization, and displacement.
Emilio Rojas (Mexico City, ca.1985) is an artist, working primarily in performance, film, video, photography, installation, drawings and sculpture. Rojas utilizes his body in a political & critical way, as an instrument to unearth removed traumas, embodied forms of decolonization, migration and poetics of space. His works have been exhibited in US, Mexico, Canada, Austria, England, Greece, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Australia. He has attended numerous residencies including the Banff Centre, Elsewhere Museum, the Botin Foundation, the STAG, and the Hammock Residency. Rojas also participated at the 54th Venice Biennale as part of the Pirate Camp: Stateless Pavilion. He has shown extensively in Vancouver at VIVO, 221A, Grunt Gallery, Surrey Art Gallery, Western Front, Audain Gallery, Access, Gallery Gachet, and Live Biennale. Rojas is also a member of the A.K.A. Collective, which previously showed at Back Gallery Project with the Exhibition Diffractions of the Local. He holds a BFA from Emily Carr in Integrated Media and his work is represented by Galeria Jose de La Fuente in Spain.
This event is as well a fundraiser for the artist with 100% of the proceeds going directly towards moving and living expenses, so that he can take full advantage of this opportunity at SAIC, and a chance to support his promising career.