Krystal Ramirez: Whose Diversity

Whose Diversity
MCBA Outlook Gallery
On view December 20, 2019 – February 24, 2020

Free and open to the public

Employing labor-intensive craft and repetition, Krystal Ramirez constructs unfinished thoughts as text works for her audience to read and consider. For this installation, Ramirez draws upon histories of the Latinx community in Minneapolis. She was inspired by Whose Diversity?, a collective of undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Minnesota who challenge and transform the culture of exclusion and enclosure of Black, Queer, Chicano, Indigenous, working-class, and other minoritized people within the historically white institution. Whose Diversity? asks the crucial question of the University of Minnesota, “What does it mean when diversity reflects not substantive diversity but instead institutional management of minority difference… How does the University confront this form of cosmetic diversity?”  For decades the Chicano and Latino studies department remained one of the smallest on campus, and Whose Diversity? believed it lacked institutional support. In 2015, Whose Diversity? occupied Morril Hall and demanded justice. Although thirteen students were arrested, the protest prompted the University of Minnesota to hire three new faculty members within the following years, resulting in the most tenure-track, full-time faculty in the department’s history to date. 

Krystal Ramirez is a Las Vegas-based artist working across media, utilizing photography, found materials, and found text to engage in motifs of race, gender, and physical and emotional labor within the framework of her Latinidad.