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Hands hold a wooden toy ship out of the water.

Emilio Rojas, Santa María Llena Eres de Gracia, 2018. Color photograph; 14 × 21 in. (35.6 × 53.3 cm). Collection of DePaul Art Museum, gift of the artist, 2020.10. Image courtesy of the artist.

About the Event

For the opening of the exhibition Trade Windings: De-Lineating the American Tropics, artist Emilio Rojas activates his installation GO BACK TO WHERE YOU CAME FROM (Santa María).

The artist engages with his work in the exhibition and retraces—in a decolonial gesture—the route of Christopher Columbus’s first voyage to the Americas with the first commemorative coin produced by the US Mint, a silver half dollar made for the Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893. The silver from the coin becomes a drawing tool that leaves a permanent trace in the museum’s wall.

The exhibition and installation are on view until December 1, 2024.

About the Artist

Emilio Rojas is a multidisciplinary artist working primarily with the body in performance, using video, photography, installation, public interventions, and sculpture. As a queer, Latinx immigrant with Indigenous heritage, it is essential to his practice to uncover, and make visible, undervalued or disparaged sites of knowledge. He utilizes his body in a political and critical way as an instrument to unearth removed traumas, embodied forms of decolonization, migration, and poetics of space. His work has been exhibited in institutions such as The Art Institute and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Museo Ex-Teresa Arte Actual and Museo Tamayo in Mexico City, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Surrey Art Gallery, the DePaul Art Museum, the Syracuse University Museum of Art, the Herbert Johnson Museum, the South Eastern Center for Contemporary Art, the Botín Foundation, Mass MoCA, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the 54th Venice Biennale, Universes in Universe’s first Stateless Pavilion, and the US Pavilion of the 60th Venice Biennale by invitation of Choctaw and Cherokee artist Jeffrey Gibson. He is currently a full-time visiting critic in the Department of Art, in the School of Architecture, Art and Planning at Cornell University. He holds an MFA in Performance from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA in Film from Emily Carr University in Vancouver, Canada.

Funding

Support for this event is provided by the Consulate General of Mexico in Chicago.

Trade Windings: De-Lineating the American Tropics is curated by Cecilia González Godino, Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellow. The Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellowship was established by members of the Susman family in honor of Marjorie Susman.

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