Who: Javier Rivero Ramos, Chon Noriega, Kevin Hatch, Ana Perry, Marcos Dimas, Pedro Reyes, Juan Sanchez
What: Virtual book launch of Raphael Montañez Ortiz monograph with conversation and live Q&A
Where: El Museo en Tu Casa Zoom
When: Wednesday, July 22, free with RSVP, 7:00
Why: In 1969, Brooklyn-born artist and educator Raphael Montañez Ortiz founded and became the first director of El Museo del Barrio. “The cultural disenfranchisement I experience as a Puerto Rican has prompted me to seek a practical alternative to the orthodox museum, which fails to meet my needs for an authentic ethnic experience. To afford me and others the opportunity to establish living connections with my own culture, I founded El Museo del Barrio,” he said. In 2014, El Museo honored Ortiz with the exhibition “Museum Starter Kit: Open with Care”; on July 22, they’ll pay tribute to the eighty-six-year-old Nuyorican multidisciplinary deconstructionist with a virtual launch party for his first monograph, featuring a live conversation on Zoom, followed by a Q&A; among the participants are monograph editor Javier Rivero Ramos, contributors Chon Noriega, Kevin Hatch, and Ana Perry, and artists Marcos Dimas, Pedro Reyes, and Juan Sanchez.
“One of the most radical creators and pioneers of his generation, Raphael Montañez Ortiz offers El Museo del Barrio an opportunity to push the boundaries of identities, showcase moments of harmony and tension in our lived history as a museum, and challenge and expand limited visual art narratives. Entropy speaks about the need for transformation, about the irreversible changes that are generated within complex systems. This spirit is evidenced in El Museo del Barrio today and for years to come,” El Museo executive director Patrick Charpenel said in a statement. Ramos added, “For far too long, canonical art history devoted to American art of the second half of the twentieth century neglected one of its most innovative artists. Premised on the Eurocentric myth of the homo faber, it failed to comprehend the trailblazing character of Raphael Montañez Ortiz and his lifelong endeavor to harness the human condition’s primal energies. At once a painter, performance artist, sculptor, filmmaker, teacher, community organizer, and writer, the work of Raphael Montañez Ortiz defies disciplinary categorization. This publication offers for the first time a panoramic view of a prolific career spanning more than six decades.”