José Esteban Muñoz

Columnists In Residence

José Esteban Muñoz, in Memory and Futurity

On December 26, 2013, D-L Alvarez sat down with theater maker Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas to talk about the death and lasting influence of noted critic José Esteban Muñoz (1967–2013). D-L: I'm not sure I can conjure up my first meeting with José. It must have been in 1996, and Nao Bustamante would have handled introductions. Was it in a gallery? Probably, though when I picture it, I see it in his apartment, which was always the place we would later go to recharge our batteries, after an opening or performance but before the after-party: him, Nao, and I. It was central, and that was a fitting metaphor for José as well, his position in the midst of various art world crossroads. He was supportive of my work from the get go, and I've come to understand this was also typical. If José liked what you were doing, he had confidence in your undertakings, often even before you did. My first university gig was speaking to his class on performance art. At the time I felt undeserving, like a snake oil peddler trying to pass, but he invested so much belief in what I was doing that I started seeing my work through his eyes, which was a much better view.

José Esteban Muñoz, in Memory and Futurity
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