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“TRANSATLANTIC LEGACY: FULL CIRCLE” Works by Artist Tony Ramos at Brown University


Anthony D. Ramos was among the earliest video artist to use the medium as a tool for a critique of the mass media, and for giving agency to marginalized communities and individuals. In his powerful but rarely seen video works of the 1970s, Ramos sought to combine art and activism. Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI)


(PROVIDENCE, RI) The Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, Brown University presents Transatlantic Legacy: Full Circle the Providence premiere of works by pioneering performance and media artist Tony Ramos on Tuesday, October 6 and Wednesday October 7 at Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, Martinos Auditorium, Ground Floor, 154 Angell Street, and Friday October 9 at Rochambeau Library, 708 Hope Street. Youth and educators, as well as members of the public are invited to a special matinee screening and conversation with the artist on October 6 at the Granoff Center.

A Cape Verdean American born in East Providence, RI, Tony Ramos’ work is framed by his sojourns from Rhode Island to Cape Verde and spans a forty-year trajectory of recording, documenting, and creating a narrative that connects dots and points of space, time, history, and memory.  In this the reconstitution of forgotten and overlooked stories is the legacy. The Rhode Island return of the artist and his work 40 years later brings full circle a unique and important transatlantic legacy, connecting a body of work that is local, global, and universal.


The October 6th special matinee screening aimed at youth and educators will feature About Media (l977), a 1977 film which opens with a rendition of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” the legendary soul song about a disillusioned Vietnam War veteran – here doubling as Ramos’s anthem for showing what goes on behind the making of a biased newscast. Following this film, a panel discussion featuring Ramos will discuss film and its role of preservation and distribution in sharing alternative stories.


Screenings of rare, historic and found video include Some Aspects of Cape Verdean Culture, a re-discovered and restored documentary shot in 1975 in Cape Verde at the time of independence; and the keynote screening of Nor Was This All By Any Means (l978) where “Ramos explores his cultural and personal heritage through a collage of recorded and appropriated footage. Juxtaposing African and American landscapes, personal and media imagery, he traces a spiritual and physical journey that moves from Harlem to Goree Island, Cape Verde and Tanzania.”(EAI).


An exhibition of paintings by Tony Ramos and the rarely seen Black & White, (1973-1975) which is one of the earliest two-channel installations in video art history are on display through October l8 at the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, Lower Lobby Gallery, Ground Floor, 154 Angell Street.


This program was made possible with the support of: Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, Brown University Creative Arts Council, Brown Center for Students of Color’s Black Heritage Series, Electronic Arts Intermix, SPIA Media Productions, Inc., and Providence Community Library.




Tony Ramos: Artist

Tony Ramos, a Cape Verdean American from East Providence was born in 1944 in Providence, Rhode Island, and lives in the South of France. He studied painting at Southern Illinois University and received an M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts, where he was graduate assistant to Allan Kaprow. He has received a National Endowment for the Arts Visual Arts Fellowship, a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, and an Aspen Fellowship from the Aspen Institute, among other awards. In the 1970s Ramos was a video consultant for the United Nations and the National Council of Churches. He lived in Paris in the 1980s, where he was a Professor at the American Center and oversaw the first television cabling of Paris. During the 1970s and 1980s, Ramos traveled widely in Europe, Africa, China and the Middle East. He recorded video during the end of Portugal’s colonial rule of Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau, in Teheran during the 1980 hostage crisis, and in Beijing just prior to the Tiananmen Square massacre. He taught at Rhode Island School of Design, New York University, and the University of California at San Diego, among others. In the late 1980s he turned to painting as his primary medium. He has exhibited his paintings at numerous international venues, including the American Jazz Museum and Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Center, Kansas City; Biennale de Dakar, Senegal; and Galerie du Dragon, Paris, among others.


Ramos’ video works have been shown internationally, including at the Pasadena Art Museum, California (1973); Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris (1974); Whitney Museum of American Art (1975) and The Museum of Modern Art, New York (1992), among others. Recent screenings and exhibitions of Ramos’ early video work include Light Industry in New York (2010); Circa 1971: Early Video & Film from the EAI Archive at Dia: Beacon (2011-2012); The Embodied Vision: Performance for the Camera at the Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea do Chiado in Lisbon (2014); Anthony Ramos: Vidéo et après at the Centre Pompidou in Paris (2014), and Tell It Like It Is: Black Independents in New York, 1968-1986 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York (2015). (EAI)



Works by Artist Tony Ramos


Tuesday October 6, 2015-Wednesday October 7, 2015

Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, Martinos Auditorium, Ground Floor, 154 Angell Street

All events are free and open to the public, on a first-come first-served basis

Contact: Shana Weinberg 401-863-5085, shana_weinberg@brown.edu


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