June 13, 2019 Latinx Spaces
Untitled (as part of Tracey Snelling’s Beer Drinking Unicorn performance), 2018. Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany. Photo by Clemens Wilhelm
"His time abroad not only gave him space to flesh out new material but also question the ethics surrounding his artistic practice. Renteria is aware of the subject matter that he presents and is critical to his creation of fictionalized stories that are partially based on real-life events. He challenges his use of these violent stories as a form of goods that are consumed by a capitalist society. In our talk, he shared that he continues to challenge his role as an artist by questioning, “Who is benefiting from my contribution and who is being exploited? Am I exploiting anyone? What is my part as an artist in this whole thing?” When asked if he views his work as a form of activism, Renteria was hesitant to embrace the notion, noting that he would like to someday but he doesn’t know if he will ever reach that level and that he is “still in a state of self-discovery.” Only time will tell if he does traverse the gap between art and social change by influencing and creating change through his work, or if it just becomes another part of the systems that be."