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Emerson Contemporary Opens a Wound with Rojas Exhibition

photo of man lying naked, back to camera, with long scar tracing down the center of his back
Emilio Rojas, “Heridas Abiertas (to Gloria),” 2014–ongoing. Digital photograph printed on banner, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.

Emerson Contemporary’s latest exhibition, Emilio Rojas: tracing a wound through my body, looks at the concept of “traces,” both in what they leave behind, as well as how they might embody trauma and resilience.

Curated by Laurel McLaughlin, tracing a wound through my body is the first survey of Mexican artist Emilio Rojas, and will be on view in the Media Art Gallery, 25 Avery Street, from September 21-November 6.

“Rojas’ exhibition comes to us at a time of continued adversity and a growing humanitarian crisis at the US-Mexican border as each day thousands of people try to cross the border, often risking their lives and/or that of their children,” Emerson Contemporary Distinguished Curator-in-Residence Leonie Bradbury said. “Tragically, 2022 is already the worst year on record for migrant deaths at the border, making Rojas’ critical works relevant as ever.” 

The exhibition reexamines the instrumentalization of Rojas’s body within his art, while reckoning with the political and colonial traces impressed upon marginalized bodies, geopolitical territories, public monuments, and the collective whole.

It brings together Rojas’s works spanning the past decade, including live performances and performance-films, ephemeral documents of past performances, photography, installation, poetry, and recent performances in his The Dead Taste Sweeter than the Living series in a meditation upon “the trace.” 

The Media Art Gallery is open Wednesday-Sunday, 12:00-7:00 pm. For more information, including exhibition events, visit Emerson Contemporary.

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