Leaños directed and produced the animated documentary, Frontera!, retelling the history of the 1680 Pueblo Revolt in New Mexico. The film has been supported by a 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship in Film and Video and a National Association for Latino Arts and Culture Grant, among others. Collaborators: Conroy Chino (Acoma Pueblo), Warren Montoya (Santa Ana Pueblo, Tamaya and Santa Clara Pueblo, Khapo Owinge’), Lee Moquino (Santa Clara Pueblo, Zia Pueblo, Apache/Yaqui), Aimee Villarreal, and Cristóbal Martinez (Alcalde).
This video is about the 1680 Pueblo Revolt in New Mexico USA and includes animated depictions of historical violence between colonizers and indigenous populations. Viewer discretion is advised.
Project Credits / Acknowledgements
Garden del Rio Grande curated by Emilie Trice
Participating artists and institutions: John Jota Leaños, Rafael Fajardo, Cherish Marquez, LAST/RESORT Club (Artists: Jeremy Billauer, Sarai Levinson, Cherish Marquez, Scott McKinney, Austin Slominski, Emilie Trice, Jullian Young), Black Cube Nomadic Museum, Denver, Colorado; Desert Valley Art Ranch, San Luis, Colorado
John Jota Leaños is a Mestizo (Xicano/Chumash) interdisciplinary artist, documentary animator concerned with the embattled terrains of history and memory as they relate to nation, power and decolonization. A Guggenheim Fellow of Film and Media, Creative Capital Artist and United States Artist (USArtist) Fellow, Leaños’s practice includes a range of media arts, documentary animation, video, public art, installation and performance introducing alternative perspectives into the public imagination through strategic revealing, social documentation, and symbolic intervention.
Leaños’ animation work has been shown internationally at over 80 film festivals and museums including the Sundance Film Festival; Cannes Film Festival, France; PBS.org; Tehran International Animation Festival, Iran, and the Morelia International Film Festival, México. His installation and performance work has been shown at the Whitney Biennial, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and others. Leaños’ animated films have won Best Animation at the 2014 39th Annual American Indian Film Festival, 2014 XicanIndie Film Festival, Denver, Best Animation, Arizona International Film Festival and VideoFest, San Francisco. He is currently a Professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz in the Department of Film and Digital Media.