West Side Story Upside Down, Backwards, Sideways and Out of Focus (La Maleta de Futriaco Martínez)
2002 ADÁL Born: Utuado, Puerto Rico 1948 suitcase, flat-screen LCD monitor, single-channel digital video, color, sound; 12:51 minutes 14 x 20 x 7 in. (35.6 x 50.8 x 17.8 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment © 2002, ADÁL 2013.20 Not currently on view
ADÁL merged snippets of West Side Story, the classic 1961 film that widely introduced stereotypes of Puerto Ricans into American popular culture, with documentary footage of Puerto Ricans in New York, readings of Nuyorican poetry by Pedro Pietri, and the music of Tito Puente and Brenda Feliciano. By slowing down, rewinding, and blurring the film footage and contaminating its narrative and soundtrack, ADÁL disrupted the storyline and exposed its social-political omissions. Embedded in a humble suitcase, the video also sheds light on the social conditions that propelled Puerto Rican migration to the mainland and partially inspired the film.
Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, 2013
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