ABOUT

Studio Lenca aka Jose Campos is an artist from El Salvador living and working in the UK.

“I was born in La Paz, El Salvador and like many had to flee the country during its violent civil war during the late 1980’s. I travelled to the US by land, illegally with my mother.  I grew up in San Francisco, California as a queer minority in the gaze of a strictly conservative administration as an undocumented ‘illegal alien’. Ultimately, I found refuge in the UK and became a British Citizen in 2007. This experience of being uprooted serves as a framework for my ideas to be read by others as themes of identity, belonging and oppression are universal.

As a queer member of the Latinx diaspora , my work is focused on ideas surrounding difference, knowledge and visibility. I work with performance, video, painting and sculpture. My work often starts through personal memories, creative activism or underpinned by different forms of praxis. I work under the name of ‘Studio Lenca’ as the language of ‘studio’ refers to a space for experimentation and a place that is constantly shifting. Lenca refers to my ancestors of my native El Salvador.“


Email studiolenca@gmail.com

CV

Jose Campos 
B.1986 La Paz ,El Salvador
Lives and works in the UK

Education: 
MA Arts & Learning 2019 Goldsmiths University of London 
Art & Design PGCE 2015 Goldsmiths University of London 
MA Contemporary Dance 2013 London Contemporary Dance  School



2021

The Pattern of patience at Marc Straus Gallery NYC

Los Historiantes, Nominated for Prix Pictet

2020 
Los Historiantes , Winner of the Open Solo exhibition Photofringe  UK 

Unknown Learning , Northdown Studios 

Peckham Pride Mural Culture Seeds 

Queer’ing the art curriculum lecture University of Arts London 

2019 
Mile of String , Horniman Museum London

Los Historiantes , ‘La Horchata’ Publication Washington DC 

Los Historiantes , VIA Arts Prize Embassy of El Salvador 

Peoples Voices for Tony Cokes Goldsmiths Centre for  Contemporary Art 

Los Historiantes Margate NOW Festival

Doing and Undoing St James Gallery, Goldsmiths University

2018
Critical Pedagogy in Contested Spaces Tate Modern 

The Artist Teacher 288 New Cross Rd 

2017
Rural Painting School La Paz El Salvador 

2016
Artist in Residence Under the Same Sun , South London  Gallery 

2015
Kill Kill Kill Parasol Unit Gallery , London 

2014
Navigating dance with my fat body 288 New Cross RD

Passport Please 310 New Cross RD Gallery 

2013 
The Wave Trinity Laban 

The Wave National Portrait Gallery 

2012
Local Group Resolutions !, The Place London  

2011
Choreographic Scores at Trisha Brown Barbican  Art Gallery, London 

Visiting Lecturer

New York University “The Latinx Project”

Goldsmiths CCA Assistant curator

Freelands Foundation 

Unknown Learning Northdown studios

University of the Arts London 

Embassy of El Salvador 

VIA Arts Prize

University College London 

University of Leeds 

Trinity Laban 






‘Los Historiantes’ 2019-2021
Digital prints 
184 cm x 118 cm
‘Los Historiantes’ are the Salvadoran tellers of a folkloric tale based on the Christians and Moors. In El Salvador ‘Los Hisoriantes’ dance ‘La Historia’ collectively with their bodies during September dedicated to La Santa Cruz de Roma.
This disrupts the notion that the storage of history is disembodied and stagnant.As an artist I relate to the position of embodied storyteller whilst coexisting in a position of learning. By posing as a Historiante I reflect on my displacement from El Salvador during the country’s civil war whilst also rewriting a new narrative of what it means to be Salvadoran.This embodied practice sees me as both the custodian of El Salvador’s history and disruptor of dominant public discourse of Salvadoran people.

My recent photographic performance work ‘Los Historiantes’(2019) looks at the folkloric dancers of El Salvador. This is an ongoing project in which I create portraits of myself dressed as a Historiante. Los Historiantes are a result of traditions brought over by the Iberian conquistadors during the colonisation of the Americas mixed with pre-Columbian beliefs. The Historiantes offer me an embodied archive of trauma that is still relevant today. When building these costumes, the collection of materials becomes difficult and I often need to borrow from different cultures with similar histories, this process becomes the performance. The inability to access authentic materials for the costumes highlights my distance from the place I was born in as well as my lack of connection with Salvadoran culture due to being uprooted by war. I believe the trajectory Salvadoran people and many Central American nations have taken stem back to ancient histories, specifically the colonisation of the Americas by European colonisers. This postcolonial intergenerational trauma is present to this day and can be seen in public discourse of Latinx communities, especially in the U.S.