Big Happy: A Momentary Utopia | Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz
Join artist Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz for an afternoon of multi-sited, participatory performances, presented as the finale of our focus exhibition Entre/Between.
Together with collaborators Ayana Evans and Tsedaye Makonnen, Raimundi-Ortiz will create an environment where all are welcomed to celebrate the transition from winter to spring together. Grab a bicycle and dress yourself in your most creative outfit and join the artists on a critical mass—a bike ride where cyclists bike together on the streets to advocate for bike commuting and road safety.
The critical mass will start on the trail at Crystal Bridges and then make its way across town to the Momentary. Upon arriving, the artists will award prizes for the most creative costumes and bikes before moving into an afternoon of performances. You’ll also be invited to close out the evening by becoming a performer yourself and joining a friendly competition of Karaoke Survivor, hosted by the artists.
12-1PM | Bike Rides with Stops
12 to 12:20 p.m.: Gather at Crystal Bridges under Louise Bourgeois’ Maman sculpture and ride to the Ledger.
12:20 to 12:40 p.m.: Gather at the Ledger and ride to the Momentary.
12:40 to 1 p.m.: Gather in front of the RØDE House at the Momentary.
1-4 PM | Performances & Community at the Momentary
1 to 2 p.m.: Ayana Evans’ performance inside the RØDE House.
2 to 3 p.m.: Tsedaye Makonnen’s performance inside the RØDE House.
3 to 3:30 p.m.: Costume contest
4-6 PM | Mistress Wanda’s Karaoke Survivor*
*Separate ticketed event. Mature content; attendees must be ages 18+ or with a parent/guardian
About the Performances
Ayana Evans’ Performance
Evans is an artist who breaks down hierarchies and encourages togetherness through her participatory performances. For this performance she will invite the audience to a performance self care workshop. Everything studied/suggested will be items participants can do for free in their spare time. Free Korean facial masks will be given out. Come ready to enjoy unconventional relaxation techniques!
Tsedaye Makonnen’s Performance
Makonnen will be debuting a new performance art alter ego, TseResha (inspired by Caresha Please). Staging performance art interviews asking individuals and groups of people to share stories from the last three (pandemic) years of when they were taken care of in difficult moments, who and what brought them joy, who are their ride or dies, who gave them space to rest and reimagine themselves, who is their emergency contact and why, etc….
While participants are sitting for the artist on a decorated couch or seating area, she will be crowning them with floral crowns and offer her pelvic bone crowns (from her Crowning series) as props. Then she will take polaroid shots of them: one for them to take home, one for the Big Happy archive. Participants will also be able to take home the floral crowns as gifts.
This is a feel good piece, riffing off of her Squad Goals piece at the Bronx Museum. Fostering community and reflecting on how we take care of each other and ourselves in times of collective trauma.
About the Artists
Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz is an interdisciplinary visual artist whose work pulls from 17th and 18th-century European portraiture, comic books, sketch comedy, folkloric dance, and installation to address race, bias, trauma, and healing. Her work has been exhibited in numerous venues such as the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Museum of Arts and Design, Garage Museum Moscow, Orlando Museum of Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Gyeongnam Art Museum, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico; and at the Manifesta biennial, and the Performa biennial. Her work has been covered by numerous media outlets, including Art in America ArtNews, PBS, NPR, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. She earned her MFA from Rutgers University Mason Gross School of Art and also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She currently serves as board member for the College Art Association, where she’s committed to addressing invisible workloads on faculty of color.
Ayana Evans’s guerilla-style performances have been staged at El Museo del Barrio, The Barnes Foundation, The Bronx Museum, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Queens Museum, and a variety of free public locations. Her performances have been reviewed in The New York Times, Bomb Magazine, ArtNet, Hyperallergic and New York Magazine’s The Cut. She was a 2017-2018 awardee of the Franklin Furnace Fund for performance, 2018 New York Foundation of the Arts (NYFA) Fellow for Interdisciplinary Arts, 2021-2022 Jerome Hill Artist Fellow, 2021-22 Professor of the Practice at Brown University, and 2022 Chamberlain Award winner at Headlands Art Center. Her past residencies include Yaddo, Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, and Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop. Evans’ most recent projects included a performance in Simone Leigh’s Loophole of Retreat at the Venice Biennale and the development of a career fair and outdoor projection series that welcomed over 150 formerly incarcerated individuals and transformed the job hunting space into a fun environment. Evans is currently a professor at Brooklyn College and NYU.
Tsedaye Makonnen is an artist-curator, mother, birthworker of East African descent. Her studio practice primarily focuses on intersectional feminism, reproductive health and migration. In 2019 Tsedaye was a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow and staged two interventions at the Venice Biennale. In 2021 her light sculptures were acquired by the Smithsonian for their permanent collection and she published a book titled Black Women as/and the Living Archive. Tsedaye is the recipient of a permanent large-scale public art commission for Providence, R.I. In Fall 2022 she performed at the Venice Biennale for Simone Leigh’s Loophole of Retreat, was Clark Art Institute’s Futures Fellow and received a Franklin Furnace Fund award. This 2023, Tsedaye will be exhibiting at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bard Graduate Center and The Walters Art Museum. Her work has been featured in Artsy, New York Times, Vogue, Bomb Magazine, Hyperallergic, and more. She is currently represented by Addis Fine Art. She lives between DC and London with her partner and children.
This event is a part of our focus exhibition Entre/Between, a multi-sited exhibition presenting works that speak to Latinx histories living within and between the United States. Surveying a visual history from 1851 to the present, the exhibition consists of paintings, photos, sculpture, works on paper, and video exhibited at Crystal Bridges, while video works and performances will be featured at the Momentary.
Entre/Between is sponsored by Phillips.