Contact and Transmission: A Queer Historiography of the Artist Keith Haring

The Critical Moves: Performance in Theory & Movement Series presents: 

“Contact and Transmission: A Queer Historiography of the Artist Keith Haring” 

Ricardo Montez (Associate Professor, New School) 
Thursday, March 23rd 
5:00-6:30PM, Film Forum
Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts (430 College Avenue) 

In this talk, Ricardo Montez discusses the challenges of writing a historical narrative about the popular artist Keith Haring. Most stories about the artist fail to address Haring’s desire for and contact with Black and Latinx bodies with any depth, choosing instead to privilege a vision of the great, white male artist who made “art for everybody.” What does it mean to make racial production a central part of art historical analysis? How do traditional forms of historical narrative fail to capture the political complexities of cross-racial contact? How does one demonstrate a deep respect for the skill and brilliance of an artist while giving scope to political ambivalence toward productive ends? Montez explores these questions through an interdisciplinary approach to archival matter and visual art, feeling through fields of affect and desire animated by Keith Haring’s line as it travels across surfaces including subway walls, canvases, photosensitive materials, and human flesh. 

Dr. Ricardo Montez is an Associate Professor of Performance Studies in the Schools of Public Engagement at the New School where he developed and chairs the curricular programs in Race and Ethnicity and Gender and Sexuality. Prior to his appointment at the New School, he was the Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellow of Race and Ethnicity Studies in the Princeton Society of Fellows. His book, Keith Haring’s Line: Race and the Performance of Desire was published by Duke University Press in 2020. 

This event is funded by a Society for the Humanities Impact Grant, with generous support and co-sponsorship from the Department of Performing & Media Arts and the Latina/o Studies Program. 

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Photo of Ricardo Montez