Exploring the “In-Between Spaces” of Being Cuban


Cuban Art News reviews “All That You Have Is Your Soul,” which opened on February 1, 2018, at Gallery 8, as part of Faction Art Projects, in New York [see previous post All That You Have Is Your Soul]. As the article highlights, this exhibition looks at multiple definitions of Cuban identity. “All That You Have Is Your Soul” will be on view through March 10. Here are excerpts of the review:

[. . .] The show is an ode to diversity, a celebration of differences among artists in the exhibition, and a firm NO to the ideas long used to define Cuban artists. From the start, the gallerists, producers, and curators were clear about their intention to call those established ideas into question. Instead, they present identity as an “open, fluid concept, which redefines and enriches itself constantly,” said co-curator Armando Mariño.

As an artist, Mariño has two works in the show; as a curator with Barreto, it is his curatorial debut. He and Barreto are presenting works by Alejandro Aguilera, Anthony Goicolea, Ariel Cabrera Montejo, Elsa Mora, Enrique De Molina, Ernesto Pujol, Geandy Pavon, Jairo Alfonso, Juan Carlos Quintana, Juan Miguel Pozo, Juana Valdes, Maria Magdalena Campos Pons, Marc Dennis, Maritsa Molina, Pavel Acosta and Quisqueya Enriquez.

All artists in the show were born in Cuba or have Cuban parents, and share an interest in exploring those elements that make up their identity.

“When we thought about a ‘Cuban art show,’ the first idea that both of us had was precisely that—of changing this concept,” said Barreto. “We wanted to offer a wide spectrum of artists and discourses that would question the supposed specificity of Cuban art. Questioning the existence of a ‘Cuban art’ is the premise on which the show was conceived.”

With the show, the curators call into question another idea that often limits the way Cuba art is understood internationally: the distinction of where it is made, either on the island or away, which frequently privileges those living in Cuba.

“It`s  amazing how institutions, collectors, and curators think they have to travel to the island to find some art being produced there that you cannot find anywhere else,” Barreto told Cuban Art News. “One of the goals of this exhibition is to reject this exoticizing, and to make it clear that art by Cuban artists is a global phenomenon. It’s been on the international art circuit for a long time, and its approaches and discourses are completely in sync with what’s being produced globally.” [. . .]

For full review, see http://www.cubanartnews.org/news/exploring-the-in-between-spaces-of-being-cuban/6654

[Shown above: Anthony Goicolea, Landscape with Head, 2016.]

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