On Wanting Images and Shared Responsibilities. Belkis Ramírez’s “De la Misma Madera”

Carlos Garrido Castellano


This article will borrow W.J.T. Mitchell´s iconological analysis in order to examine the work of Dominican artist Belkis Ramírez, whose installations show an interest in challenging the role of the spectator and in propelling her/him to act critically. I will focus here on the installation De la misma madera, an artwork awarded the first prize in the 1994 edition of the Dominican Biennial of that year and one of the most recognized installations of contemporary Dominican art. I argue that installations such as De la misma madera exemplify the interest of contemporary Caribbean artists in troubling the position of the spectator as well as in generating a pedagogy of images that can be approached only through experience. By those means, Ramírez challenges a direct adscription of her work to the task of illustrating any specific issue. In this article I explore how this ambivalence generates a concern on expressive freedom and emotive emancipation that transcends passive contemplation and representation.


Agency; Caribbean; installation art; Belkis Ramírez; spectatorship


PDF (English)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.11588/mira.2015.0.22428

URN (PDF (English)): http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bsz:16-mira-224289