Smithsonian Collections

Cowboy and "Indian" Film

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Data Source
Smithsonian American Art Museum
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
Raphael Montañez Ortiz, born New York City 1934
Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Gary Wolkowitz
16 mm film, black and white, sound
Media Arts
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Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Time-Based Media Art
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Restrictions & Rights
© 1957-1958, Raphael Montañez Ortiz