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 and a ‘slow-down’ activist pursuing a vernacular socialist art practice. I’m also a libertarian community arts organizer with Peruvian-Palestinian roots. My “unspectacular” practice explores the intersection between cooperative networks, performativity theories, solidarity economies, and decentralized art futures.
I focus on collaborative methods to tailor public art projects in the form of cooperative platforms for creative-civil engagement. Furthermore, I seek to challenge foundational values in art, governance, and society. I’m interested in how can we radically repurpose our ‘institutions’– our political, social, and arts’ infrastructures and values?
My artistry is rooted in the collective, subaltern counterpublics, and instituent practices, which aim at establishing localized spaces to ‘withdraw’ from the dominant public sphere(s) and the mainstream art field. I use speculative imaginaries around the nature of contemporary institutions, and I try to envision new routes for collective organizing and critical content within the arts and our wider societal climate.
In 2016, I self-exiled from the art market, refusing to take part any longer in commercial exhibit platforms. Rather, my project(s) take the form of autonomous “institutions” and counterpower networks as a kind of future-oriented critical exercise.
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.