Studio Series: Antonio Ramos
In-Process Talks moderated by Neil Greenberg on Feb 3 and Arthur Aviles on Feb 4
Inspired by the work of New York City-based photographer Sol Aramendi and “The Art of Toreo” or bullfighting, Ramos created EN LA ARENA NO TODO ES ROSADO/IN THE ARENA NOT EVERYTHING IS PINK.
In this work-in-process, Ramos explores themes of sexuality and the disappointments of queer dating after the sudden end of a 13-year relationship. The work shows the everyday struggles of new beginnings. Bullfighting, with its paradox of beauty and cruelty, pits the Toreo (bullfighter) against the brave but suffering bull. Like this provocation, the work shows how we fight for survival in a similar battle to the death. This struggle motivates the emotional and physical content of the work.
This work will be further developed with, among other things, rituals from the Santeria interwoven into the piece for presentation at The Young Roots Performance Series at Hostos Center for the Arts and Culture on May 4, 2012 with a post-performance discussion moderated by NY Live Arts Artistic Director Carla Peterson. Funded by the Rockefeller Foudnation NYC Cultural Innovation Fund 2010-12, this series showcases emerging artists experimenting with the artistic roots of Afro-Latino traditions to create new branches that reach into the future. theyoungrootsperformanceseries.blogspot.com.
Currently Ramos is also in discussion with El Museo del Barrio to develop elements of this work in collaboration with director Charles Rice-Gonzalez for presentation in 2012-13.
Ramos deeply identified with two works by Aramendi on display at El Museo del Barrio’s The (S) Files 2011 exhibition. Aramendi's photographs, “Bailando Conmigo” (“Dancing with myself”), shows a woman ironing records by hand as they melt under her touch. Another work, “El Amor Duele” (“Love Hurts”), depicts a bride who hangs her heart on a coat rack. These works motivated Ramos to examine real life, quotidian events such as eating, having sex, or taking pills in a surreal way.
The Studio Series offers an opportunity for research and development in a creative residency format, providing resources of time, space and a commission. The Studio Series is a research laboratory for physical explorations and new movement investigations with a focus on process, not final performance/product. The “performances” are intended to be informal public showings to share ideas with an audience in the intimate working space of the studio. Studio Series artists are curated internally by the Artistic Director in conjunction with Programming staff and guest curators from Urban Word NYC.
Studio Series is supported, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the Jerome Foundation.