Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz Premieres Pietà

Presented by the Cornell Fine Arts Museum on March 21st, Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz will create the durational performance "Pietà" from 6–7:30 p.m. in the Knowles Chapel at Rollins College.
In Pietà, Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz creates a durational performance during which she will sit and cradle thirty-three young men and women of color. Raimundi-Ortiz's work belongs to a long tradition of performance art that explores personal narratives, multifaceted interrogations of identity, and deconstructions of historical and religious imagery. In describing the catalyst for this performance, Raimundi-Ortiz explains, "In this latest iteration of my Reinas/Queens series, which are anchored in trauma and anxiety, I will investigate the fear of losing a child to violence/intolerance. I find myself fearing the inherent injustices brown children will endure based on their skin, and grieve for mothers of fallen children. Inspired by Michelangelo's Pietà, I will create a live performance portrait for which I sit and cradle 33 young people of color, the same age as Jesus at the time of his execution." With Pietà, Raimundi-Ortiz creates a space for collective mourning. 
This performance by Raimundi-Ortiz will be multi-layered and multi-sensory.
Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, Untitled (preparatory sketch for Pietà), 2016, Graphite, ink and white charcoal on paper, Courtesy of the artist
 During Pietà, attendees will witness red and blue lights and sirens and hear music by artists such as Public Enemy, Billie Holliday, Calle 13, and Rubén  Blades in addition to spoken texts. Raimundi-Ortiz's sumptuous avant-garde costume draws viewers in as she expresses a type of collective mourning. Throughout the performance, the artist suggests the framework of Catholic tradition, which is historically steeped in elaborate visuals and multisensory experience. Alejandro Ramirez (Stereo 77) worked closely with Raimundi-Ortiz to design the soundscape for the performance. Kristina Tollefson collaborated with Raimundi-Ortiz on the design and implementation of the artist's costume.
This project is generously supported through funds from Gladdening Light, the Thomas P. Johnson Fund, and the Diversity Council of Rollins College.
This event is free and open to the public, no reservations required.
About the Artist
Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz was born in the Bronx, New York in 1973. She currently lives in Orlando, Florida where she is employed as an Assistant Professor at the University of Central Florida. She studied at Rutgers University (MFA, 2008), the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York (AAS, 1998), and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2002). Her recognitions include: 2009 Bronx River Alliance Cultural Preservation Awardee, 2008; El Diario/La Prensa Mujeres Destacada Honoree; Ralph Bunche Fellow (2008); BRIO Award (2002, 2006); Artist in the Marketplace Fellow (2004), Longwood Cyber Resident (2004); and FIT Outstanding Alumni (2001). Her exhibitions include: Silos, American University; Displacement: Symbols and Journeys, Cornell Fine Arts Museum; Florida Prize, Orlando Museum of Art; Aqui y Ahora: Transcultura/ Here and Now: Transculture, Centro Cultural de España, El Salvador; The S Files 05 and No Lo Llames Performance/Don't Call It Performance, El Museo del Barrio; Artist in the Marketplace 25, Bronx Museum of the Arts; and Mercury/Mercurio, Longwood Art Gallery. In 2016, she was invited to participate in the annual Day of the Dead exhibition at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, where she made an altar to commemorate the tragedy that occurred at Pulse in Orlando. Raimundi-Ortiz is currently preparing a solo exhibition for Longwood Gallery in 2017. 

Set on the Rollins College campus overlooking beautiful Lake Virginia, the Cornell Fine Arts Museum is the only teaching museum in the greater Orlando area. Its broad scope holdings of more than 5,000 objects range from antiquity through contemporary and include the only European Old Masters collection in the Orlando area, a sizable American art collection, and the forward-looking Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art. The Alfond Collection is shown both on at the museum and at the Alfond Inn at Rollins a few blocks from campus, a visionary philanthropic boutique hotel whose proceeds help fund student scholarships.  For additional information, call 407.646.2526 or visit  rollins.edu/cfam. "Like" CFAM on Facebook and follow on Instagram @cfamrollins as well as Twitter @cfamrollins.
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