Conrad Ventur, MM #7, 2011.

Conrad Ventur Tribute to Mario Montez

Participant Inc., 253 E Houston St MAP

Legendary underground actor Mario Montez was a favorite subject of artists Jack Smith and Andy Warhol, and was a founding member of the Ridiculous Theatrical Company with Charles Ludlam in the 1960s. While researching Warhol’s early films, New York City-based artist Conrad Ventur learned that reclusive Montez had begun to emerge from retirement after 35 years. They began a friendship through Ventur’s re-staging of Warhol’s ‘screen tests’ using the same methods and Factory stars, including Montez. They continued their collaboration for three years, Ventur noting that, “I began to think about people, not just the media in which they were recorded years ago.” Ventur has since produced a series of digital c-prints, videos, and live performances with Montez, which were to culminate in Mario Montez Returns.

Montez was to star in this six-week performance environment staged at PARTICIPANT INC for PERFORMA13. The multi-media project, written and directed by Ventur for Montez, would have reunited actors from the original Ridiculous Theatrical Company and the renowned downtown theater La Mama alongside subsequent generations of performers including Agosto Machado, Everett Quinton, Lola Pashalinski, Marti Domination, Mr. Twinkle, and Brandon Olson. Mario Montez died on September 26, 2013.

To celebrate Montez's contribution to underground cinema, Ventur has organized Tribute to Mario Montez featuring films that were among Montez’s favorites of the myriad in which he starred by Jose Rodriguez-Soltero, Jack Smith, Andy Warhol, Ron Rice, Avery Willard and Takahiko Iimura. Tribute to Mario Montez will take place over three Sundays. Details of the films shown each week are below.


Sunday, November 10
Jose Rodriquez-Soltero, Lupe, 1966, 16mm, 49.5 minutes
Jack Smith, Jungle Island, 1967, 16mm, 15 minutes
Andy Warhol, Mario Banana, 1964, 16mm, 4 minutes
Conrad Ventur, Boca Chica, 2013, video, NY premiere, 3 minutes

Sunday, November 17
Jack Smith, Flaming Creatures, 1962-3, 16mm, 43 minutes
Ron Rice, Chumlum, 1964, 16mm, 23 minutes
Avery Willard, remnant: Flaming 20s, 1968, 16mm on video, 1 minutes

Sunday, November 24
Andy Warhol, Hedy, 1966, 16mm, 66 minutes
Takahiko Iimura, Face, 1969, 16mm, 20.5 minutes
Conrad Ventur, Atlantis, 2011, video, 2 minutes


Presented by Participant Inc.



This work was made possible, in part, by the Franklin Furnace Fund supported by Jerome Foundation; the Lambent Foundation, The SHSFoundation, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.