My tattoos are like heridas esteticas, countries in my biographical map, Scripted words as opposed to my scars, which are like unscripted sentences in the open book of my body.”
Emilio Rojas (Mexico/Canada) is an interdisciplinary artist born in Mexico City, based in Vancouver since 2008. He holds a BFA from ECUAD and works primarily in performance, interventions, video, installation, and sculpture. The intrinsic relation with the body has been both his subject matter and medium requiring the participation of the viewer, in order to set in motion the metaphors that unveil the intricacy of his art. Exploring the mental and physical limits of his being, Emilio reevaluates language, gender, activism, tradition, ritual, displacement, migration and sexuality. His works have been exhibited in US, Mexico, Canada, Austria, England, Germany, Italy, Spain and Australia.
This piece is a collaboration between myself and 30 tattoo artists from Mexico, US, and Canada. The performance explores the limits of the body as a site of trauma, tattoos as aesthetic wounds, and the definition of aesthetics from different national perspectives. Photographs of two scars on my arm, created in the same accident when I was a child and divided at my elbow by time were sent to different tattoo artists of the three NAFTA countries. The tattoo artists were asked to create tattoos with the text “ heridas esteticas” and “aesthetic wounds” using the font that they believe to be the most aesthetic one and their relation to trauma. The scars will be used as guidelines to write on my body just as the lines of a notebook.
The tattoos will be selected by a group of “professional jurors” from the three different countries, which will narrow down selection to 10 final fonts. Then the public throughout the festival will vote by ballot to select the winning tattoo, as well as write what aesthetics and wounds means to them. The performance will be done twice, once in Chicago, and once in Mexico City. In Chicago the text will be “heridas esteticas,” in Mexico, “aesthetic wounds”
ARAHMAIANI (INDONESIA) | ANDREW BARCO (US) | ANNA BERNDTSON (SWEDEN/GERMANY) | WAFAA BILAL (IRAQ/US) | JEFFERY BYRD (US) | PATE CONAWAY (US) | JESS DOBKIN (CANADA) | ZACKARY DRUCKER (US) | ARIANNA FERRARI (ITALY) | FRANCESCA FINI (ITALY) | BEVERLY FRE$H (US) | ANNA FELICITY FRIEDMAN (US) | ARTI GRABOWSKI (POLAND) | FAUSTO GRACIA (MEXICO) | ALLISON HALTER (US/GERMANY) | SARA HOLWERDA (US) | ELANA KATZ (US/GERMANY) | ELENA KATSULIS & ERIN PEISERT (US) | JOSHUA KENT (US) | MEHDI-GEORGES LAHLOU (BELGIUM) | CARLOS SALAZAR LERMONT (VENEZUELA) | MILLER & SHELLABARGER (US) | ŞÜKRAN MORAL (TURKEY) | MOTHERGIRL (US) | BORIS NIESLONY (GERMANY) | WANDA RAIMUNDI-ORTIZ (US) | JEFFERSON PINDER (US) | EMILIO ROJAS (MEXICO/CANADA) | KAMBUI OLUJIMI (US) | ROOMS (US) | FERESHTEH TOOSI (US) | ALICE VOGLER (US) | DOLORES WILBER + SARAH WILBER (US) | JULIE WILLS (US) | ZIERLE & CARTER (UK)