The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
Artist Rafael Montañez Ortiz describes the assemblages of Marcos Dimas, Puerto Rican artist based in New York City, as an extension of his childhood experience of digging up bits of pre-Columbian Taino artifacts in the fields of Puerto Rico. He proposes that the works by Dimas are the result of digging into his subconscious, communing with his cultural origins, and affirming his identity as a Puerto Rican artist today. Ortiz proposes the term “ethno-aesthetic” to define Dimas’s approach to art making. The author further maintains that all modern art is indebted to the arts of Asia, Africa, and the Americas; he observes that Euro-American artists who regarded native art as primitive or foreign were misguided, so that he praises the authenticity of Dimas’s creations.
Rafael Montañez Ortiz was an innovator in the destruction art movement of the 1960s. A member of The Art Workers’ Coalition, an activist group that fought to end racial, ethnic, and gender discrimination in the New York City art milieu, Ortiz founded the community-based Puerto Rican museum, known as El Museo del Barrio in 1969. He collaborated with Marcos Dimas, the founding father of the Puerto Rican artist collective, Taller Boricua, in order to establish the Puerto Rican Art Workers Coalition. Dimas served on the first artist advisory board of El Museo del Barrio.