Raphael MONTAÑEZ ORTIZ


Nationality: american

Widely known for his piano destruction performances and the elaboration of the Destructivist movement, Raphael Montañez Ortiz is remarkable in many other ways: as the founder of El Museo del Barrio in New York in 1969, as a prolific writer of essays and manifestos, as well as a committed activist and pedagogue. He is also a pioneer of American film culture, having made a series of innovative found footage films starting in the late 1950s.

Influenced by the Dadaists, Montañez Ortiz adopts a practice inspired by Yaqui shamanic rituals, which consists in appropriating existing films and breaking up their narrative continuity. As part of his unconventional method, he destroys the images in his possession by experimenting "every possible permutation: right-side up and forward, upside down and in reverse, and so on." (Scott MacDonald)

Starting in 1985, Montañez Ortiz begins a series of what he calls "digital/laser/videos"; he makes a large number of these "arresting, provocative and suggestive" works (Scott MacDonald). He selects excerpts of commercial films on laser disc, which he deconstructs with the help of a computer program installed on one of the first Apple models. Using a joystick, he experiments with cutting up the seconds of action of his choice and moving them back and forth at different speeds, while also modifying the sound. He manipulates these sequences as many times as necessary until the result is ready to be fixed on video tape.

This approach to found footage is experimental not only in aesthetic terms. As the artist distorts a scene's temporal structure, he also deconstructs the cultural canons which are proper to cinema; he also does this, to some degree, to political ends, as he denounces colonialism, capitalism and patriarchy in Western society.

34 MOVIES IN DISTRIBUTION

BUSY BODIES
1997 / U-Matic / color / sound / single screen / 8' 52 / 40 €
distribution: Digital file on server
IT'S COMING UP
1997 / U-Matic / color-b&w / sound / single screen / 5' 11 / 36 €
distribution: Digital file on server
THE CONVERSATION
1996 / U-Matic / color-b&w / sound / single screen / 12' 00 / 50 €
distribution: Digital file on server
CRITIC, THE
1996 / U-Matic / color-b&w / sound / single screen / 11' 22 / 47 €
distribution: Digital file on server
  INTROSPECTIVE: ORTIZ ART-WORK LATE 1950S - LATE 1980S
1996 / Video / color-b&w / sound / single screen / 59' 29 / 188 €
distribution: Digital file on server
RING RING RAGTIME
1996 / color-b&w / sound / single screen / 11' 15 / 47 €
distribution: Digital file on server
THATS TOO MUCH
1996 / b&w / sound / single screen / 4' 16 / 32 €
distribution: Digital file on server
KISS NUMBER ALSO
1994 / U-Matic / color / sound / single screen / 6' 08 / 40 €
distribution: Digital file on server
SEND HIM TO THE CAPITAL
1994 / b&w / sound / single screen / 7' 15 / 39 €
distribution: Digital file on server
SLAM DANCE
1994 / b&w / sound / single screen / 8' 42 / 40 €
distribution: Digital file on server
DANCE NUMBER 22
1993 / U-Matic / b&w / sound / single screen / 7' 22 / 39 €
distribution: Digital file on server
THE DROWNING
1992 / U-Matic / color / sound / single screen / 3' 41 / 28 €
distribution: Digital file on server
IF WE BELIEVE THAT MANS/WOMYNS SOUL HAS NOT REACHED FULFILMENT... IS IT RIGHT TO TAMPER WITH THE PROBLEM...
1992 / U-Matic / b&w / sound / single screen / 14' 20 / 59 €
distribution: Digital file on server
MR MARECHAL HAVE YOU SEEN THIS PHOTOGRAPH ?
1992 / b&w / sound / single screen / 5' 45 / 39 €
distribution: Digital file on server
  OUR THOUGHTS ARE MADE OF CLAY: HORSE WOMEN OF THE APOCALYPS
1992 / b&w / sound / single screen / 7' 45 / 38 €
distribution: Digital file on server
THAT'S THE WAY I FEEL ABOUT HIM
1992 / b&w / sound / single screen / 3' 13 / 26 €
distribution: Digital file on server
THE EXPULSION FROM THE GARDEN
1991 / U-Matic / b&w / sound / single screen / 4' 00 / 30 €
distribution: Digital file on server
GONNA GET ME A GAL
1991 / U-Matic / b&w / sound / single screen / 3' 00 / 24 €
distribution: Digital file on server
  HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU KID
1991 / b&w / sound / single screen / 3' 00 / 24 €
distribution: Digital file on server
MY FATHERS DEAD
1991 / color / sound / single screen / 3' 00 / 24 €
distribution: Digital file on server
NOW YOU'VE DONE IT
1991 / b&w / sound / single screen / 3' 15 / 26 €
distribution: Digital file on server
RAW OYSTERS
1991 / b&w / sound / single screen / 6' 00 / 40 €
distribution: Digital file on server
BACK BACK BACK BACK
1986 / U-Matic / b&w / sound / single screen / 7' 00 / 40 €
distribution: Digital file on server
  PUSHANN PUSHANN
1986 / U-Matic / b&w / sound / single screen / 3' 15 / 26 €
distribution: Digital file on server
YOU BUST YOUR BUNNS
1986 / U-Matic / color / sound / single screen / 5' 30 / 38 €
distribution: Digital file on server
BRIDGE GAME
1985 / U-Matic / b&w / sound / single screen / 12' 00 / 50 €
distribution: Digital file on server
DANCE NUMBER 1
1985 / U-Matic / b&w / sound / single screen / 3' 45 / 29 €
distribution: Digital file on server
DANCE NUMBER 1-6
1985 / U-Matic / b&w / sound / single screen / 17' 00 / 68 €
distribution: Digital file on server
THE KISS
1985 / U-Matic / b&w / sound / single screen / 6' 00 / 40 €
distribution: Digital file on server
WHAT IS THIS
1985 / U-Matic / b&w / sound / single screen / 9' 15 / 41 €
distribution: Digital file on server
NEWS REEL
1958 / 16mm / b&w / sound / single screen / 2' 00 / 15 €
distribution: Digital file on server
COWBOY AND "INDIAN" FILM
1957-1958 / 16mm / b&w / sound / single screen / 2' 00 / 17 €
distribution: Digital file on server
HENNY PENNY: THE SKY IS FALLING
1957-1958 / 8mm / b&w / sound / single screen / 8' 43 / 40 €
distribution: Digital file on server
GOLF
1957 / 16mm / b&w / sound / single screen / 1' 09 / 10 €
distribution: Digital file on server