The timely exhibition runs from Nov. 30, 2016 – Jan. 15, 2017
Miami, Nov. 7, 2016 – Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Museum of Art + Design (MOA+D) will present Q & A, Nine Contemporary Cuban Artists from Nov. 30, 2016 to Jan. 15, 2017. This exhibition of nine contemporary Cuban artists working in various media highlights artistic practices that reflect a polyvalent vision of Cuban reality today. A private opening breakfast will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 30 from 9 a.m. – noon, and a panel discussion with Q & A Curator Cristina Vives, MDC Professor and art critic, Alfredo Perez-Triff, and participating artists will take place from 11 a.m. – noon, on Thursday, Dec. 1. The panel is open to the public. The opening breakfast is by invitation only, but open to the working media.
Organized by Havana-based curator Cristina Vives, Q & A includes artists Alexandre Arrechea, Alejandro Campins, Javier Castro, Humberto Díaz, Fidel García, Alejandro González, Lorena Gutiérrez, Tony Labat, and Fernando Rodríguez, the majority of whom live and work in Cuba.
Addressing their country’s national and political myths, they examine history, failed ideologies, corruption, censorship, and the manipulation of public opinion. Rather than a complacent view, Q & A, Nine Contemporary Cuban Artists emphasizes these artists’ critically aware point of view, acknowledging the existence of a line between art and political activism that they cannot cross without the risk of reprisal from Cuban authorities. Deliberately eschewing familiar tropes, the exhibition provides us with an opportunity to examine the questions of how Cubans see themselves and how they think the world sees them.
The exhibition features paintings, sculptures, photographs, and video installations. Alejandro Campins’ monumental, enigmatic paintings of abandoned sites mirror the changing urban and rural landscapes of his native land. His evocative large-scale canvases picture haunting mise-en-scènes of impermanence and lost identity.
Humberto Díaz creates intricate installations that range from discreet interventions to ambitious immersive environments. He generates tension between the viewer and the space inhabited by the works, which can be both visually and spatially discomfiting. Díaz presents situations in which “the excess of power…generates an atmosphere of surveillance and control”.
Lorena Gutiérrez’s site-specific installation considers white-collar embezzlement, while Alejandro González’s black-and-white photographs reenact specific moments of Cuban history, depicting the exacerbated dogmatism and bureaucratization of government-orchestrated official mass meetings during Cuba’s Gray Five Year Period (1970–75).
Power and control underlie the work of Fidel García, also known as Micro X. Experimenting with old and new technologies, he bases his projects on the observation and analysis of the structures of a particular context—which he calls “the system”—that he later deconstructs, conceptually intervening in multiple “systems” in public space. His work Collectivization (2015) is a light installation of data graphs representing research into cases of public corruption in Cuba during the last twenty-five years.
Driven by an anthropological gaze, Javier Castro’s video I Am Not Afraid of Eternity depicts people in one of Havana’s most marginal neighborhoods. He records “social performances,” the survival skills of Cubans in everyday life, recording what he encounters with as little intervention as possible.
Q & A: Nine Contemporary Cuban Artists was organized by the Inter-American Development Bank Staff Association Art Gallery in Washington, D.C., where a version of the exhibition opened in December 2015.
WHAT: Q & A, Nine Contemporary Cuban Artists
WHEN: Nov. 30, 2016 – Jan. 15, 2017
Opening Breakfast, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 9 a.m. – noon (By invitation. Open to the working media only.)
Panel Discussion, Thursday, Dec. 1, 11 a.m. – noon
Museum Hours: Wednesday – Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
Museum Hours for Art Week Dec. 1- 4: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
FREE Admission and private tours are available
WHERE: MDC Museum of Art + Design
The Freedom Tower at MDC
600 Biscayne Blvd.
About MDC Museum of Art + Design
MDC Museum of Art and Design is dedicated to the presentation of visual art and design exhibitions. Housed at the National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College in downtown Miami, its mission is to promote the appreciation and understanding of art through direct engagement with original works.