January 22, 2020
Opening Reception and Artist Talk: Friday, February 14 from 6-8pm
Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) is pleased to announce the opening reception and artist talk by Las Vegas-based artist Krystal Ramirez, co-sponsored by the Latino Economic Development Center. Ramirez works 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.
For this site-specific installation, which is on view in MCBA’s Outlook Gallery until February 24, Ramirez draws upon the 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. In 2015, Whose Diversity? occupied Morril Hall and demanded greater institutional support of the department. Thirteen students were arrested, and 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.
Employing labor-intensive craft and repetition, Ramirez created a large, bright neon-yellow paper painting, which weaves together unfinished thoughts as text for her audience to read and consider.
“The work hangs beautifully in the space—the yellow is loud, as if the choice of color is an indication of the voices of the protestors. Up close, you can see her hand’s physical imprint, using wax thread to sew the panels, showing care and attention to fine detail,” says Torey Erin, Director of Exhibitions and Artist Programs at MCBA.
Please join us in celebrating and welcoming Ramirez to Minneapolis.