Jul 13th 2016

The Chicago Artists Coalition is honored to open its space to present “The Beautiful Ones,” a series of performances and a poetry reading in response to the violence against the LGBTQIA community and persons of color at Pulse Orlando nightclub on Sunday, June 12, 2016. Responses by CAC artists and community will occur in the BOLT space on various nights between June 24 and July 13. All are welcome to attend, commemorate, listen, and engage.

THESE EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, as a safe space of respect. No homophobia, transphobia, racism, sexism or ableism will be tolerated.

Alien Tears ( after Wilde, after Gonzales-Torres)
by Emilio Rojas developed in dialogue/collaboration with Paul Escriva.

Alien tears, began and continues with the daily collection of the piece Untitled (Portrait of Ross in LA) 1991, from Felix Gonzales-Torres, from the Art Institute of Chicago to public spaces outside of the museum. Through this process Emilio Rojas has been working with AIDS-activist/artist Paul Escriva, who has been the mentor and bridge connecting with this past, which created a rupture of an entire generation.

This is the first public performance of the piece, which honours the victims of PULSE, but also traces a history of mourning & loss through the figure of the outcast, as cited in the poem “Ballad of Reading Gaol” by Oscar Wilde, written while in exile after being imprisoned in 1895 for homosexual offences. Using a rhyzomatic structure the performance connects popular culture, with art history, the AIDS crisis, survivorship, and the Lorde.

With the participation of:
Cecilio Cooper
Paul Escriva
Mev Luna
Tequin Lelong
Eva Maria Lourdes
Vrindavani Devi Dasi (Yvonne E. Nieves)
Darling Squire


EMILIO ROJAS (circa 1985, Mexico City) is a multidisciplinary artist, working primarily with the body in performance, using film, video, photography, installation, public interventions and sculpture. Rojas utilizes his body in a political & critical way, as an instrument to unearth removed traumas, embodied forms of decolonization, migration, mourning & poetics of space. Besides his artistic practice, Rojas is also a translator, translator, community activist and anti-oppression facilitator with queer, migrant, and refugee youth. He holds a BFA from Emily Carr University and lived in unceded Coast Salish Territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations in Canada, since 2008 (aka Vancouver). Last year he moved to Chicago, where he is pursuing an MFA in the performance department at SAIC. He has attended numerous residencies including the Banff Centre, Elsewhere Museum, the Surrey Art Gallery, the Botin Foundation, Hammock Residency, and Pirate Camp: Stateless Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale. His works have been exhibited in the US, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Austria, England, Greece, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Australia. His work is represented by Galería José de la Fuente in Spain.

PAUL ESCRIVA (artist / activist)
Beginning in the late 1980s Paul Escriva began exploring performance art with Frank Moore of Berkeley, California. A relationship that lasted over two decades until Moore’s death in 2013. Paul has been inspired by artists of many disciplines, including Annie Sprinkle, Chilli Pepper and Linda Montano.

Many times Paul has been privileged to serve as midwife to the dying, he has lost forty friends to complications related to HIV/AIDS. He is particularly interested in exploring our ever evolving, aging, and non-normative bodies as a way to investigate both the queer body’s overall state of health and/or disease within the queer community. For him the boundaries between holistic healer and performance artist are often deliberately blurred as he seeks to create an environment for change. He consistently seeks ways to bridge the practice of art with the practice of everyday living.

photo credit: Didier Morelli.
Sculpture credit: Félix González-Torres, Untitled (Portrait of Ross in L.A.), 1991, Candies individually wrapped in multicolor cellophane
References: Ana Mendieta, Siluetas Series 1973-78.
Texts by: Oscar Wilde, Justin Torres, Audre Lorde, Grupo Niche and Emilio Rojas.
Sound mixing by: Jeremy Lee Harris.


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