Ernesto Pujol is a site-specific performance artist and social choreographer. His undergraduate studies were in humanities and fine arts, followed by graduate work in education, media, and psychology. Pujol has an MFA in interdisciplinary art studio practice from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago.
Pujol has taught at Cooper Union, NY, La Escuela de Artes Plasticas de Puerto Rico, San Juan, the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Maine, the Hartford Art School, The University of Utah, Salt Lake city, and Parsons The New School, NY. He has lectured at New York University, the School of Visual Arts, NY, Bezalel Academy of Art & Design, in Jerusalem & Tel Aviv, and The Maine College of Art, Portland.
During the 1990s, Pujol became known for site-specific ephemeral installation projects addressing individual and collective memory. In 1997, Pujol represented the United States in: the Second Johannesburg Biennial, South Africa, the Second Saaremaa Biennial, Estonia, and the Sixth Havana Biennial, Cuba.
Between 2004 and 2008, Pujol worked as part of an interdisciplinary creative team led by curator Mary Jane Jacob for the Spoleto Festival/USA, creating Water Table, a large-scale installation in Downtown Charleston, SC. Between 2007 and 2008, Pujol worked as Senior Interdisciplinary Art Curatorial Consultant for the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico.
Pujol's site-specific public performance work of the past decade has addressed pressing ecological issues, war, loss, and mourning. In 2007, Pujol staged Memorial Gestures, a 12-hour durational performance with 16 performers at the Rotunda of the Grand Army of the Republic, Chicago Cultural Center, opening their new IN-TIME series. In 2008, he staged TZOFIA, a 10-hour durational performance with 6 performers at the Mann Auditorium of the Tel Aviv Philharmonic, in collaboration with light artist Jan Tichy.
In 2010, he performed Awaiting, a 10-hour durational performance with 40 performers on the steps of the Utah State Capitol Hill, in collaboration with sound artist Rosi Hayes. In 2010 Pujol also staged Farmers Dream, a 9-hour durational performance with 10 performers at the Warehouse of the Salina Art Center, Kansas, in collaboration with poet Lori Brack.
Pujol is currently working on four new performance commissions for 2011-2012, including: Visitation, for the Spencer Museum of Art, a 6-hour solo performance as an intervention throughout the museum of the embodied gaze of the artist; Walking Ground: Speaking in Silence, for the Contemporary Museum in Honolulu, for 7 performers scattered throughout the city as public orators; Affinitas, a 2-hour dance performance in honor of the 10th anniversary of 9/11 in Boston; and a new American performance opera, Vortex, choreographed for 12 women. Pujol has launched a new performance interdisciplinary group: UteHaus.
Since 1999, Pujol has also been exploring the notion of the Visiting Artist and the Artist-in-Residence as ephemeral schools-in-the-field for training graduate and post-graduate art students. Pujol is very interested in writer Carol Becker's notion of the artist as citizen, the citizenship of museums, and the citizenship of art itself in the evolution of American democracy. Pujol believes that the creative critical thinking tools of artists are integral to the sustainability of American democracy in an increasingly diverse society.
Pujol strives to reclaim public spaces from clutter, noise, and speed, revisiting and stripping architecture, eliminating distractions, generating silence and solitude; transforming them into sites for interiority, if not the awakening of consciousness.
Ernesto Pujol has been the recipient of fellowships from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the Cintas Foundation, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and Art Matters. He has served with the New York State Council on the Arts, the Academy for Educational Development, and the National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC.