Artist Statement

As an artist I wish to push boundaries, create cathartic experiences and encourage the viewer to participate.
By working with performance, site and social specificity  I try to experience a unique moment in time, space, aesthetics, and actions that create circumstances that challenge the audience. My body is not only a temple but the tool of my praxis and the vehicle for interaction with an ever-changing world. My practice enacts the connection between art, viewer and experience. Every performance is a unique incident for both myself and the spectator; an opportunity to expand my own physical, mental and social boundaries. I experience my life as a performance, and nurture my ideas with everyday stimuli. Writing down every idea that comes to mind no matter how absurd it might sound at the moment of its conception. Obsessed with ephemera, I collect objects that without knowing will become the artistic tools of a nearby future.

In my creative process I combine fieldwork with research, exploration with experimentation and an ongoing search for materials that speak to me through metaphors. The body is a constant source of my materials exploring the use of its debris and fluids as agents of meaning. I believe that art has the ability to create change, arise emotions and transform our beings which are in constant search of enlightenment. With a deep meditative practice I try to observe my process from a point of neutrality and also prepare my body to endure strenuous durational performances. Without meditation, yoga and having a deep connection with my body, my practice would be absolutely meaningless. It is through this negotiation with myself that I'm able to communicate with the audience, bridging art, activism and living with meaning and experience to create an enhanced aesthetic impression that produces some sort of catharsis. All the pieces should just be the matches that ignite a larger and more complex conversation with yourself and others.

Emilio Rojas was born in Mexico City, (ca.1985) he is an multidisciplinary performance artist,  working primarily in performance, film, video, photography, textiles,  installation, sculpture, public interventions, text, and writing. His works explore the relation between the artist and his audience, interacting and exchanging roles, while involving the communities that surround the spaces he engages with. Rojas requires the participation of the viewer, in order to set in motion the metaphors that unveil the intricacy of his art. The intrinsic relation with the body has been both his subject matter and medium. Exploring the mental and physical limits of his being, Emilio re-evaluates language, gender, activism, traditions, identity, ritual, displacement, migration and sexuality. Besides his artistic practice, Emilio is also a yoga  teacher, translator, community activist and anti-oppresion facilitator with Migrant and Queer Youth. Emilio Rojas is currently living in Vancouver, Canada, where he is exploring collaboration, with a focus in social practice and public interventions and alternative exhibition spaces running  a residency program with his mother in his house in Mexico City.

He holds a BFA from Emily Carr University in Film Video and Integrated Media. His performance, video works have been exhibited in United States, Mexico, Canada, Austria, England, France,  Germany, Italy, Spain and Australia. He has attended residencies at The Banff Centre for the Art, Elsewhere Museum,  The Surrey Art Gallery, The STAG (Strathcona Art Gallery), The Hammock Residency and Casa Coral in Isla Mujeres. Rojas also  participated at the 54th Venice Biennale as part of the Pirate Camp: Stateless Pavilion, a residency program for young international artists. This year,  he was selected and participated in the summer residency lead by Tacita Dean, organized by Fundacion Botin, in Santander, Spain.  He has exhibited extensively in Vancouver at the Western Front, VIVO Media Arts, Grunt Gallery, The Surrey Art Gallery, Access, 221A, Centre A, Gallery Gachet,  BLIM, Chapel Arts and the LIVE Performance Biennale. His work is represented by Galeria Nuble in Santander, Spain.