Tracing a Wound: In Usdan Gallery with artist Emilio Rojas (VA4317.01)

Anne Thompson

In his practice, multimedia artist Emilio Rojas embodies a series of encounters—or tracings—through the intersecting bio-politics of pandemic, systemic racism, border closures in tandem with the rise of nativist rhetoric, and disproportionate vulnerabilities for BIPOC communities. This course extends from Rojas’s exhibition in Usdan Gallery, “tracing a w̶o̶u̶n̶d̶ through my body.” Working directly with the artist, students will make individual and group projects responding to themes and artworks in the exhibition. A focus will be Rojas’s ongoing explorations of invasive species from the natural world as productive metaphors for migration and diaspora. As a final project, the class will collaborate with Rojas to make a new performance artwork that, as documented, will join the exhibition as it travels to new venues.

The course is comprised of four Saturday workshops, from 9 a.m. until noon, on the following dates: February 25, March 11, March 25 and April 15.

Students will also be working with Bennington faculty member Susan Sgorbati throughout the course.

Learning Outcomes:
_develop skills for seeing and discussing how artworks in a range of media can manifest in the exhibition context
_gain perspective on how personal experience, political events and theoretical writings can combine within an artist's practice
_collaborate in developing ideas and applying them to creative work

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Students should email Anne Thompson ( with a description of their interest in the course, including how it applies to their work and/or experience.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 1
Sa, 9:00AM-12:00PM (1st seven weeks)
Maximum Enrollment: 12
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: 4000 , Advancement of Public Action , All courses , First Seven Week , Fully In-Person , One Credit , Visual Arts (VA)
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