a work of art can operate as its own institution and as such is independent of specific art institutions—Stephen Willats, Art and Social Function (1976)
I’m an artist, restivist, and a fungitive socialist with Peruvian-Palestinian roots. My vernacular practice investigates the conundrums between cooperation, economy, law, and democracy. The socio-economic conditions of artists, and other counterculture groups, are at the core of this exploration, as a hybrid speculative practice for field and world-making that attracts synergies from pre-capitalist societies and post-capitalist utopias. A mode of non-capitalist artistic research as a tool to address social, political, and ecological concerns. These regenerative modalities are aimed to help us anticipate and overcome current and future uncertainties in an ever-growing financial and climate crisis.
This approach draws energy from a process-oriented and collaborative practice-based research on the Reciprocity and Solidarity Economy, a Post-Capitalist School, Latin American Sci-Fi and ‘magical realism’, and my advocacy work on ‘degrowth’ and uUBI (unconditional Universal Basic Income). I’m also inspired by Mark Fisher’s theory of Acid Communism, or utopian sensibility, that I’ve translated into a collective conscious-expanding practice that I call Acid Ecology. I tend to focus on collaborative methods, cooperative arrangements, underground and feminist economics, and network building for radical redistribution of social and cultural wealth in the absence of universal provisioning and a radical reimagination of culturally imposed values. I’m particularly interested in how can we radically repurpose our ‘institutions’– our political, social, and art infrastructures and their value systems, in order to create potent experimental and creative collectivities.
In 2016, I self-exiled from the art market, refusing to take part any longer in commercial exhibit platforms and object-based practices. Rather, my project(s) take the form of autonomous “institutions”, artist-powered initiatives, and counterpower networks as a kind of future-oriented critical exercise. An anti-spectacular, post-studio, commons-minded and participatory practice.
I believe in self-organized utopias!
Time, and Time is political, is a two-way street in which I find myself in the open—Rodrigo Ghattas
Early in 2020, I co-initiated the national grassroots initiative Verdensrommet | mutual support network for immigrant artists in Norway. I’m also a founding member of the artist-run mediation platform The Union, and founder of the indigenous-contemporary art center Machaqmara Center for the Arts. I have held previous positions in arts management and art production at OSLO PILOT, Ekebergparken, OsloBiennalen, and UKS (Young Artists’ Society). I hold an MFA in Art and Public Space from Kunsthøgskolen I Oslo and a BFA with a major in Sculpture from Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. In addition, I’m currently one of UKS deputy board members and Samspill International Music Network board member.
I have received institutional support, collaborated and/or developed artistic projects with, among others, Kultur- og likestillingsdepartement (The Royal Norwegian Ministry of Culture and Equality), Norsk Kulturråd (Arts Council Norway), European Cultural Foundation, Oslo Kommune Kulturetaten (Department of Culture Affairs, the City of Oslo), Innlandet Fylkeskommune, Nordisk Kulturkontakt (Nordic Culture Point), OCA (Office for Contemporary Art Norway), KORO (Kunst i Offentligrom / Public Art Norway), NBK (Norske Billedkunstnere / The Association of Norwegian Visual Artists), UKS (Unge Kunstneres Samfund / Young Artists’ Society), BKH (Bildende Kunstneres Hjelpefond / The Relief Fund for Visual Artists), Balansekunst (The Art of Balance), BKV (Billedkunstnernes Vederlagsfond / Norwegian Visual Artists Fund), Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo (Oslo National Academy of the Arts).
I’m a member of the following trade unions: NBK (Norske Billedkunstnere / The Association of Norwegian Visual Artists), CREO (Forbundet for Kunst og Kultur / The Union for Arts and Culture), PAO – Performance Art Oslo, KORO (Public Art Norway)’s public art curators and art consultants network, BIEN Norge (Grunninntekt / Basic Income Earth Network), and Socialistisk Venstreparti / Socialist Left Party Norway.