Questions of Practice: Curator Ruth Estévez on Why Some Performances Should Remain in the Past

Ruth Estévez, gallery director and curator of REDCAT, discusses the practice of restaging past works for contemporary audiences. To her, restaging is “interesting, but also dangerous” because certain performances may be rooted in particular social and political contexts of a past moment. “Sometimes performance has to happen in a certain moment, and you have to be there and see it,” Estevez says.

REDCAT’s Ruth Estévez on why some performances should remain in the past. Filmed at The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage on April 13, 2016.

Ruth Estévez is a curator, writer, and stage designer. Since 2012, she has served as gallery director and curator of REDCAT, where she has worked with artists including Javier Téllez, Pablo Bronstein, and Allora & Calzadilla, and curated the group exhibitions Agency (Assembly: Before and After the Split Second Recorded) and Hotel Theory. Prior to her appointment at REDCAT, Estévez served as chief curator at the Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City. In 2016, she served as a panelist in Exhibitions & Public Interpretation.

Grants & Grantees

“The best day in the studio is when everything feels like magic,” says 2009 Pew Fellow and visual artist Sarah Gamble.

The Institute of Contemporary Art set about organizing the first posthumous survey on the art of Jason Rhoades, consulting with the artist’s colleagues and collectors.

Institute of Contemporary Art Director Amy Sadao on the impact of audience feedback on curatorial and programmatic decision-making.

Beth Sholom Synagogue planned for increased access to and interpretation of its building, the only synagogue ever designed by acclaimed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Dan Byers is Senior Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. Byers contributed to the Center’s 2013 publication Pigeons on the Grass, Alas: Contemporary Curators Talk About the Field. He was a 2014 panelist and a 2015 LOI panelist, both in Exhibitions & Public Interpretation.

Grants & Grantees

The Slought Foundation is a small and dynamic organization with great ambitions, founded in 2002 to present art projects and lectures from a storefront in University City.

The College of Physicians commissioned the production of a new film, inspired by its Mütter Museum, by London-based twin brothers and filmmakers Stephen and Timothy Quay.

Grants & Grantees

Painter and 2008 Pew Fellow Anne Seidman’s practice has allowed her to explore the nature of pure painting through abstraction, suggesting friction, awkwardness, and ultimately, a sense of self.

Grants & Grantees

Charles Burns is a graphic novelist and a 1994 Pew Fellow.

This exhibition at the Galleries of Moore College of Art & Design will critically re-examine the emergence and development of unorthodox, artist-driven, and collective artistic practices in Mexico City in the 1990s.

Grants & Grantees

Matthew Cox, a 2008 Pew Fellow, creates psychologically charged figurative paintings that are technically ambitious as well as visually intriguing.

Grants & Grantees

Preservation of the Paul Robeson House interpreted the legacy of the African American artist and Civil Rights activist.