IDENTIFY: Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz - National Portrait Gallery
Performed at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, May 6, 2017 Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz's REINAS (Queens) series considers female archetypes who have shaped her identity and worldview. Expanding on her previous work and reflecting on her perspective as a mother, Ortiz responds to the human cost of gun violence through the lens of Michelangelo's Pietà. The performance, accompanied by live music from the Howard Gospel Choir and DJ Stereo 77, provides a meditation on the universal theme of loss and mourning and offers a symbol of resilience. IDENTIFY is the National Portrait Gallery's performance art series which focuses attention on activism, visibility, and experimentation through portrayal. Support for the IDENTIFY performance art series has been provided by an anonymous donor and The Skanby + Gould Foundation. Artist Statement In this latest iteration of my REINAS (Queens) series, which is anchored in trauma and anxiety, I investigate the fear of losing a child to violence or intolerance. I fear the inherent injustices my family will endure based on their skin, and grieve for the mothers of fallen children. The performance is a metaphor of grief, realization, and resilience, as we continue to rise and press onward. This is not just a performance about social justice, but a moment to collectively grieve.