Kurt's Conversation with Destruction Artist Raphael Monteñez Ortiz

Raphael Montenez Ortiz, Ralph to Kurt, is a Brooklyn born artist of Puerto Rican decent whose lengthy career as an artist (he is now in his mid-eighties) includes what has been termed "destruction art." Kurt and Ralph became friends early in the 1960s, and Kurt covered Ralph's participation in the Destruction In Art Symposium held in London in 1966 in the pages of Artscanada magazine. Noted for his theatrical art pieces wherein Ralph destroyed pianos with an ax, beheaded live chickens, tore apart mattresses, and spilled buckets of blood, his work was and remains controversial and for many, uncomfortable.
          In this recording made by Kurt circa 1966, Kurt, Ralph and an unidentified woman discuss Ralph's plans for a theatrical art performance to be held in a gallery in Los Angeles, and Ralph exuberantly describes what it will include--namely chickens, mice, snakes, a piano, a harp, paper bags and buckets of blood--in his words "...a whole crazy kind of thing." Kurt suggests the work is a "menstruation ritual" and Ralph explains that his intent is to provoke people to the point where one "can't stand behind all your defenses." Note: Ralph's plans are graphically described; the discussion lasts about fifteen minutes.