JIMMY DESANA (1949-1990) & DIEGO CORTEZ (1946-2021)
El Cansearch Presidente, a diptych. A vertical mixed-media diptych. Silver prints (2) with tape, marker, and the artist's semen, each measuring 609x505 mm; 24x19 7/8 inches, the first (top) print with Cortez's notations in marker and applied red tape on recto, and his notation indicating this is the first print and a Hal Bromm label with the artists' credits, title, and edition notation on verso; the second (bottom) print with Cortez's notations in marker on recto, and his signature, date, edition notation "First set of 3 sets (edition of 3 sets)," notation "Shown at Hal Bromm," and description "Photos of James DeSana + D. Cortez by Bobby Printed by Grossman DeSana + Cortez," all in pencil in the same hand, on verso. 1977.
WITH--An exhibition catalogue documenting MOVING, a two-part exhibition, which took place at Hal Bromm Gallery, New York, during October and November, 1977. Here the work (on pg. 21) is titled My Latin Heritage/El Cansearch Presidente, from the Esoterrorist Series. Additional text accompanies the image.
The accompanying exhibition catalogue reads as follows: "The work is the first "PUNK" treatment of any of the existing object lines from the series 'My Latin Heritage.' The 'My Latin Heritage' series is a personal historical myth construction of the artist's real and imaginary past. Here, the artist is seen in the bottom photo coupled with his regular photographer's image seen above in portrait. An indication of the master/slave relationship: photographer to subject. Who's on top? The graffiti advertises the FALN, a terrorist, Puerto-Rican liberation group; also it titles the top photograph of the artists' photographer Jimmy DeSana, as El Cansearch Presidente. Cansearch, is a cancer research institute, founded by the artist, and the art objects, such as this one , and his films, videotapes, etc, is the actual research itself, in the direction of understanding cancer. The piece should have an urgency to it: a quick, easy blow up of a not-posed-looking mug shot situation; a rushing to Press: to sell the FALN story: a believable sympathy/identification with FALN and art/terrorism. Finally, the piece is a direct outgrowth of my involvement with the ESOTERRORISTS, a street gang (Anya Phillips, Duncan Smith & myself): we support the notion of PUNK JUNK ROCK CANCER SEND. Our target is: CORP. CANCER RECEIVE." - Diego Cortez