Jesus Barraza is a interdisciplinary artist and is pursuing an MFA in Social Practice and a Masters in Visual Critical Studies. He holds a BA in Raza Studies from San Francisco State University. His work focused on the new generation of Xicana/o printmakers applying the methodologies of the Chicana/o Art Movement in a contemporary context. Recently his research has focused on Indigenous artists whose work engage issues of Indigeneity and embody a “Decolonial Attitude”. He is a co-founder of Dignidad Rebelde a graphic arts collaboration that produces screen prints, political posters and multimedia projects and a member of JustSeeds Artists Cooperative a decentralized group of political artists based in Canada, the United States and Mexico. From 2003-2010 he was a partner at Tumis design studio where he worked as web developer, graphic designer and project manager.
In September of 2014 Barraza led Dignidad Rebelde’s mural for the 5×5 Project, Washington DC’s largest temporary public art initiative as part of Stephanie Sherman’s Near Futures project. In June of 2014 Barraza participated in the exhibit Chicano Dreams at the Musée d’Aquitaine in Bordeaux, France. In November 2013 Dignidad Rebelde presented their exhibition Future Ancestors at SoleSpace in Oakland and in September 2013 Barraza was invited to participate in the “Embedded in Community: What Is Social Practice?” panel at Leeway Foundation’s REVOLVE: An Art for Social Change Symposium.
About Jesus Barraza’s Thesis Project
Jesus Barraza Lowriding as Social Form: Anishinaabe Grandfather Teachings as Decolonial Vehicles of Resistance
This thesis focuses on contemporary artists, Postcommodity and Celia Herrera Rodriguez, who employ conceptual strategies to challenge the legacy of colonization and dehumanization with a complex social practice. This thesis is an examination of tactics to recover traditional cosmologies and spiritualities while remaining grounded in contemporary realities of detribalization, displacement, and globalization. Linking indigenous concepts of land to Postcommodity’s land art installation demonstrates the limitation of the dominant notions of the genre and produces a multilayered interpretation of working with nature. By connecting Xicana feminist thought with installation art theory, this thesis asserts that Rodriguez’s spiritual traditions establish the altar as a critical installation form. These artists challenge the dominant notions of Western aesthetic traditions and transform how participants and viewers engage a decolonized worldview.