Cowboy and "Indian" Film

  • Raphael Montañez Ortiz, Cowboy and "Indian" Film, 1957-1958, 16 mm film, black and white, sound, Smithsonian American Art Museum, © 1957-1958, Raphael Montañez Ortiz, Gift of Gary Wolkowitz, 2011.31

Exhibition Label
Ortiz produced experimental works in which he used existing films as the raw material for his own art. In Cowboy and “Indian” Film, he ritually chopped up several copies of Anthony Mann’s classic Western Winchester ’73 (1950) and then randomly reassembled snippets to completely destroy the original movie’s narrative and audiovisual integrity. Ortiz considered his shaman-like process resonant with his indigenous heritage. His destructive act also criticized media depictions of Native Americans.

Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, 2013
Cowboy and "Indian" Film
On View
Not on view.
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Gary Wolkowitz

Mediums Description
16 mm film, black and white, sound
Object Number
Linked Open Data
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