Jorge Rojas’s multidisciplinary approach to art and performance spotlights issues of interpretation, institutional critique, and the role of cultural, social, and mediated forms of communication in the world.
Jorge Rojas is a multidisciplinary artist, performer, curator, and educator, working with socially engaged art, installation, and performance. Rojas’s experience as an educator often intersects with his interests as an artist. He makes work that reflects on issues of interpretation, institutional critique, and the role of cultural, social, and mediated forms of communication in the world.
“Performance interests me in its ability to bring people together and provoke public engagement, action, and participation. I use performance and new media technologies to connect people across cultural, social, political, geographical, and ideological borders. My practice delves into realms of the personal and the public, drawing inspiration from lived and shared experiences, and from my own intercultural identity. I hold space that invites sharing, intimacy, joy, protest, and empowerment. In 2020, as part of the Immigrant Artist Biennial in New York, I live-streamed a performance titled tether from the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art. In tether, I invited members of my Latinx community to accompany me on a symbolic journey representing trauma undocumented immigrants experience throughout the immigration process.
“In 2021, I was commissioned by Ogden Contemporary Arts to create a virtual performance. In Dance for our Departed, a multicultural group of Native American, Pacific Islander, African American, Asian, and Aztec dancers from all over the U.S. and as far as Mexico came together via live-stream to mourn the losses communities of color have experienced due to long-standing economic, health, and other inequities in America, made all the more evident by the COVID-19 pandemic. Also in 2021, I created Chac Mool, a born-digital performance for an exhibition titled Utah Sites: Performance Art in Utah Landscapes. Chac Mools are Mesoamerican sculptures of a reclining figure, possibly symbolizing slain warriors carrying offerings to the gods. In Chac Mool, I consider Indigenous peoples’ migration across the Americas, and more specifically Aztlán, the mythical homeland of the Aztecs, which some historians believe could have been Antelope Island on the Great Salt Lake, near where this video was filmed.”