Jose Luis Rojas Pacheco
Born in 1975 in Mexico City, Mexico
Lives and works in Mexico City, Mexico
Jose Luis Rojas’ practice started simultaneously with the conformation of the artistic group Los Lichis (Gerardo Monsiváis, Manuel Mathar and the artist himself), an alliance whose aspirations were not as much artistic as collective. Since the late nineties their clearest gestures were the playfulness, mischief, informality, teenage ease, along with the progressive vandalizing of the property located in Andador 20-1 at Fovissste-Miramontes state housing. This could be read now -ten years later- as their highest ongoing piece. The long-life sessions together, in such specific conditions as being forced to remain chained with handcuffs during five days in a hotel room, led improvisation in the music field and in the fine arts as well.
Throughout his passage along with Los Lichis, Rojas inherited the transgressive exercise of constructing scaled sceneries: a flat as the reproduction of the world, and a gang of toys as the reproduction of a society, its characters and instruments. This inheritance is literal, since the photo-series Fovissste Conflict (2002-2004) is constituted by a number of stills that resulted from the staging and documentation of several explosions and bombings inside this connoted house. The artist refers ironically to the media-habit of overexposing the public to turbid images, to incite paranoia in the first place, then sensationalism, and finally indifference.
For the series Taliban (2004-2006) this artist steals the most ‘bucolic’ of all the Christmas traditions in Latin culture, and recruits ceramic figurines to characterize them as the Afghan militias trained under the sponsorship of Ronald Reagan’s government, and still kicking after 9/11. The Bethlehem crèche doesn’t seem to be a stop on any map, and instead of gifts these legions flaunt rifles, bazookas, automatic machine guns AK-47 and M-60, produced all them in the US, Britain and Russia.
The exploitation of vagueness as a strategy acquires new overtones when Rojas presents a sum of detailed three-dimensional studies in miniature of projectiles collapsing, missiles taking of, tanks blowing up, and vehicles on fire. The narrative ingredient is included in pieces such as Fire in the Hole (2007), in which the volatility of the action becomes frozen in three different moments of the same attack via the genre of sculpture. The power of signs crumbles when Rojas shows the iconographic voracity and perversion of the contemporary world, and rewards us with tiny memorials that record the dislocated
epic sensibility of our time.
Carmen Cebreros Urzaiz
2011 – The Warring States – Don Apolonio Cultural Centre, Puebla, Mexico
2009 – Stranded – Border Cultural Centre, Mexico City
2006 – Li’l mess / pequeño desastre – City Museum, Queretaro, Mexico
2005 – Pastiche – Arena México Contemporary Art Gallery. Jalisco, Mexico
2012 – I just want the universe – Tijuana Cultural Centre, Mexico
2011 – Art and politics, conflicts and disjunctives – Tijuana Cultural Centre, Mexico
2011 – Revolver (Los Lichis Collective) – Casino Metropolitano, Mexico City
2010 – Los Lichis Live @ MUAC. (Los Lichis Collective) – Contemporary Art University Museum, UNAM, Mexico City
2010 – Emergent Art 3rd Biennale – Arts Centre, Moneterrey, Mexico
2009 – IX Monterrey FEMSA Biennale – Arts Centre, Monterrey, Mexico
2007 – MACO 2007 – Pyner-Contreras Gallery booth (London). México City
2007 – Fingered DVDzine Mexican Artists – The Glasslands Gallery, New York, USA.
2006 – Distor. (Los Lichis collective) – Carrillo Gil Art Museum, Mexico City
2005 – MACO 2005. Arena México Contemporary Art Gallery booth, Mexico City
2003 – Les Religions Sauvages.(Los Lichis Collective) Short film by Le Dernier Cri – Marseille, France
2002 – H.P. Lovecraft, Alusive, Complex – X Teresa Arte Actual. Mexico City
2000 – FIAC 2000. Contemporary Art Fair. (Los Lichis collective) – BF:15 Gallery stand. Paris, France.
1999 – Video Lichi’s 9/9/99. (Los Lichis collective) – BF:15 Gallery, Monterrey, Mexico.
1997 – Pumpin’ Barbie. (Los Lichis collective) – La Panadería. México City
1996 – 10th Gay-Lesbic Cultural week – Chopo Universitary Museum, México City