Artist Statement 

As an artist I wish to push boundaries, create cathartic experiences and encourage the viewer to participate. I utilize my body in a political and critical way, as a method of negotiating and intervening in my surroundings. By working with performance I live a unique moment in time, space, aesthetics, and actions that create circumstances that challenge the audience.

My most recent body of work deals with cultural hybridity, re-enactment, border trauma, tattoos as aesthetic wounds, decolonial de-linking, and survivorship. The work combines rigorous theoretical and historical inquiry, site specificity, and studio-based research practice. The work resulting from these inquiries innovatively combines performance, video, installation, stop motion, sculpture, workshops, drawing, writing and photography.

Unearthing undervalued sites of knowledge, forging vital links between daily life, artistic practice, and collective action, are some of the imperatives of postcolonial ethics that I engage in my praxis by utilizing performance as a form of embodied research, incorporating both theory and pedagogy. Some of the thinkers that have driven my practice are Gloria Anzaldua, Judith Butler, Bayard Rustin, Gayatric Spivak, Walter Mignolo, Franz Fannon, and Sara Ahmed. I intervene in these discourses through my own embodied experience, activism and artistic production. 

These investigations have taken me to collaborate with communities, seeking to create a dialogue to bridge dissonant practices and perspectives. Often engaging in current political and social issues, related to the minorities with whom I identify and share common experiences. All of these interactions feed back into my artistic practice, enhancing my ability to collaborate in diverse environments. 


Emilio Rojas was born in Mexico City, (ca.1985) he is a multidisciplinary artist,working primarily in performance, using, film, video, photography,installation,  public interventions and sculpture. His works have been exhibited in the US, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Austria, England, Greece, France,  Germany, Italy, Spain and Australia. He has attended numerous residencies including the Banff Centre, Elsewhere Museum, the Surrey Art Gallery, the Botin Foundation, Hammock Residency, and Pirate Camp: Stateless Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale.Besides his artistic  practice, Emilio is also a yoga teacher, translator, community activist and anti- oppression facilitator with Migrant and Queer Youth. His work is represented by Jose de la Fuente in Santander, Spain. Last year Rojas moved to Chicago, where he is pursuing an MFA in the performance department at the School of the Art Insitute of Chicago. He has a BFA from Emily Carr University, in Film Video and Integrated Media and lived in Vancouver, Canada for 8 years, before moving to Chicago.