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    Raphael Montañez Ortíz

    1/30/1934

    Raphael Montañez Ortíz

    Biography

    Raphael Montañez Ortíz (b. 1934, New York) is a multidisciplinary artist perhaps best known for his radical performances of the 1960s as part of the Destructivist movement which he helped to articulate. Not many know that he is also a pioneer of found footage cinema who deserves greater recognition within the American filmic avant-garde. Starting in 1957, he produced a number of singular works by subjecting 16mm prints of commercially- or institutionally-produced films to a cut-up method inspired by Yaqui shamanic practices, a kind of ritualistic chance operation intended to break down their structure and thoroughly undermine their discursive power. In the mid-1980s, Montañez Ortiz continued his critical deconstructions of commercial cinema, this time exploring a novel format: the laser disc. Having created a special interactive setup at the computer lab of Rutgers University, the artist transformed micro-moments from classic films into looping, stuttering choreographies that, through obsessive repetition, reveal the tacit gestualities and subconscious inner dynamics of these seemingly innocent Hollywood scenes.

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    Raphael Montañez Ortíz

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