I am a ‘diaspora’ Latinx. Hola. It means everyone back home thinks I am basic

Performance/Installation, 2022

"I am a ‘diaspora’ Latinx. Hola. It means everyone back home thinks I am basic" is a live performance about fallenness, featuring a devil breaking a black piñata, installed within the premises of a Mexican restaurant. Every time the devil hits the piñata, it responds with a noise that resembles a grunt, to make it seem like the object is suffering. Indeed, Ramírez corrupts his childhood memories breaking piñatas to resemble a sadistic scene, amplifying the darker connotations of this festive ritual while mocking what we superficially applaud today. It represents a fall of faith in cultural diversity as a concept complicit with practices of hollow virtue hoarding. 

This performance began as a subtle image of pandemic (from the god Pan) that reflects on the nexus between North-South relationships, disease, and capitalism. However, Ramirez’ re-shifted this focus over time as a satire of diaspora art in alignment with his wider push and pull with identity politics, as evidenced in his writing.  It also draws from his prior research on the evolving iconography of the devil in art history.

The work is made in collaboration with Zamara Zamara on fabrication and Bonnie Cummings on sound. This project is funded by Multicultural Arts Victoria, as part of their Represent Commisions, scheduled for a 2022 exhibition in Diasporas Festival. 

Vampires of the Earth 

Various mediums, 2023

Vampires of The Earth is an exhibition about the commodification of feelings on social media, with a focus on wellness culture in the backdrop of Pemex’s oil spillage in the Gulf of Mexico in 2021. It reimagines the eye of fire that characterised this media disaster as a gateway to hell, to propose speculative symbols of market apocalypse. The works in the show reference a triad of vampirism, wellness culture and dripping oil to represent a state of voracious extraction. Whether it is the toxicism of extractive capitalism, or the braindead figures that devour feelings on social media, Vampires of The Earth represents a fallen system of communication that has died but carries on living.

Following this organising logic of undeadness, the show employs mediums such as neon, which mimic the vampire’s cycle of awakeness and slumber, by requiring electricity same as this creature necessitates blood. While also also incorporating black reflective surfaces that allude to the vampire’s inability to gaze at its own reflection, mirroring the unreflective exploitation of fossil fuels. Finally, it mines wellness infographics to re-encode the messages of care culture with a death drive.

To touch one another with the lips

Video, 202X

This film shows the moment two new hetero lovers kiss, only to discover one of them carries a ‘sonic virus’ that distorts hearing upon the sharing of saliva. Located within the vampire genre, this work trades in the aesthetics of right wing extremism: a white man in his early 20s, who unbeknown to his date is a white supremacist, touches lips with a white woman of similar age, in a campus dorm. This encounter begins with a humorous conversation that unfolds while the camera slowly reveals sutble objects in the room that suggest the kisser is a covert extremist. Once infected with the dark gift, the kissed suffers from an extreme form of cognitive distortion, which manifests on the screen as an experimentation with sound and image. In ‘To touch one another with the lips’, the vampire is a fascists ideology and transmission is radicalisation. 

This work is based on Ramírez essay The Monstrous Kiss and Its Perversions, which looks at the history of kissing as a community practice in early Judeo-Christianity, where he discusses media that disrupts its wholesomeness, by turning kissing into an act of division rather than union. The vampire’s bite epitomises this perversion as an osculation that inverts values of social harmony.  

We are all bad people 

Animation, 202X

We are all bad people (6:66min) is an animation that looks at virtue hoarding and the Professional Managerial Class. In this satirical cartoon, drawn in the style of morning television cartoons of the 90s, a Social-Change-Curator kills an Identity-Politics-Artist, who turned into a zombie after a mysterious bite. Now the curator has to announce the incident in social media but their impression management techniques fail to account for a killing. The curator expresses inordinate amounts of concern for the optics of this situation while ignoring the fact that the artist just died.

How does radical care, community and safe spaces explain the act of murder?

Ramirez acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Land where he lives and works, the Wurundjeri people. He pays his respects to Elders past, present and emerging of the Kulin Nation.