Monday June 18, 2018

Update: Gárciga in Havana, Los Carpinteros in Brazil, Bruguera in London

Opening in Brazil: Los Carpinteros, Marquilla cigarrera cubana, 1993


Gárciga in Havana. Last week saw the opening of Planetario. Videomapping artisanal y guiones instalados de Luis Gárciga at the Wifredo Lam Center of Contemporary Art. Curated by Loreto Alonso and coordinated by Ibis Hernández, the exhibition presents a group of works produced by Gárciga in various cities in Latin America, including Havana, Mexico City, Quito, and Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia, among others. On view through September 7.

Courtesy Wifredo Lam Center of Contemporary Art

Silkscreen in Havana. This Friday, August 12, the exhibition Silkscreen opens at Galería La Moderna in Centro Habana. The show features posters from the 1980s, primarily produced by the René Portocarrero Print Workshop. The show opens with a 6 p.m. reception on Friday. Next Wednesday evening, August 17, there will be a 6 p.m. discussion with projected images and videos, led by Frency.  

Arte en la Rampa. The summer festival held in the Pabellón Cuba continues with its displays of artisanal crafts and artworks. Daily programming includes book launches, concerts, film screenings, and other events. Last week’s calendar included the presentation of Proyecto 70 x 40 by Génesis Galería, a concert by Ivette Cepeda, and the launch of the video game “La Neurona” by the ICAIC Animation Studios. Arte en la Rampa continues through September 18.

Courtesy Fondo cubano de bienes culturales

Changes at the Office of the Historian of the City of Havana. According to reports published last week in Diario las Américas, Telemundo 51, Cibercuba, and other publications, responsibility for the state tourism company Habaguanex, and other business institutions that had been under the administration of the Office of the Historian of the City Havana, has been transferred to the Business Administration Group (GAESA) of the military (the Revolutionary Armed Forces, or FAR).

The change was announced in a meeting held at the Hotel Ambos Mundos, one of the historic hotels in La Habana Vieja that had been restored under the Office of the Historian of the City of Havana. The famed hotel, where Hemingway wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls, is one of the more than 300 Habaguanex facilities that had been managed by the Office of the Historian, including markets, shops, and restaurants.

The Hotel Ambos Mundos in La Habana Vieja


Revenue from these enterprises has funded the continued restoration of La Habana Vieja and other areas of the city. The Office of the Historian has also been active in many art- and culture-related organizations, including Ballet Lizt Alfonso, the Ars Longa Baroque Ensemble, the Casa de Carmen Montilla art gallery, and the Factoría Habana art space.

Deadline approaching for Design Havana. Earlier this summer we wrote about the first Bienal de Diseño La Habana, and the eco-design competition for island designers that was launched soon after. Now, a quick reminder: the deadline for submissions is September 4. The rules for the competition are available on the Design Havana website. They are also available at the Oficina Nacional de Diseño (ONDi), which is also accepting the submissions.

Courtesy Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil

Los Carpinteros in Brazil. Kicking off a tour that will bring it to four cities, Los Carpinteros: Objeto Vital (Vital Object) opened July 30 at the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil in São Paulo. More than 70 works—drawings, watercolors, sculptures, installations, and site-specific works—trace the group’s development from its beginnings in Havana in the 1990s. The exhibition includes works made specifically for this show, which expand on some of the group’s well known themes. Curated by Rodolfo de Athayde of “Arte A Produções,” the show runs through October 12 in São Paulo. It will then travel to Centros Culturales Banco do Brasil in Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, and Rio de Janeiro.

Hernández in Cologne. Diango Hernández is one of 25 international artists contributing to We Call It Ludwig, a show celebrating the Museum Ludwig as “an artist’s museum.” For the exhibition, Hernández is preparing two large “wave” murals, which incorporate the names of artists whose work has been exhibited at the museum. “These two murals look like seascapes in which you can see ‘sailing boats’ sailing through colorful and playful ‘waves,’” Hernández wrote in an email announcement. He is also giving the museum a metal “wave” bench, with six waves—one for each letter of the museum’s name. “Each of the letters has been transformed into a wave,” Hernández wrote, “in which visitors will eventually [sit] and from there, enjoy the view.” The exhibition opens on Friday, August 28, with a 7 p.m. reception, and runs through January 8.  

A work by Diango Hernández for We Call It Ludwig, opening at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne

Courtesy Diango Hernández

Bruguera in London. The Tate Modern recently celebrated the opening of “the Switch House,” an extension of the museum designed by Swiss architects Herzog & De Meuron. As part of its program of live art events, Tatlin’s Whisper #5 / El susurro de Tatlin #5, a 2008 performance work by Tania Bruguera, was performed, unannounced, at various times from opening day (June 17) through July 3. In the performance, two police officers use crowd-control techniques to maneuver crowds of museum visitors. The work, which was purchased by the Tate in 2009, had been performed there previously as well.

Save the Date #1: Prieto in Barcelona. As part of Barcelona Gallery Weekend, Wilfredo Prieto will create a site-specific intervention in the stables of the Guàrdia Urbana, the Barcelona city police. The intervention is part of Compositions, a program of five site-specific, temporary works organized by the independent team Latitudes. The Barcelona Gallery Weekend will take place September 29–October 2.

Valdés in Santa Fe and North Miami. Juana Valdés is among some 30 artists participating in “Much Wider Than a Line,” the central exhibition for SITE Santa Fe’s “reimagined biennial,” SITElines.2016. The show runs through January 8. And in North Miami, Intersectionality in South Florida features Valdés among approximately 50 artists whose work critiques the institutionalization of power. On view through August 14.

A view of Intersectionality in South Florida at MOCA North Miami, with a sail-like installation by Juana Valdés at center. 

Courtesy Miami Herald

Gómez Sicre in Washington, DC. Following its presentation of (Art)xiomas – Cuba Ahora: The Next Generation, the Art Museum of the Americas continues its celebration of the OAS curator’s centennial with José Gómez Sicre’s Eye: Works from the AMA’s Collection. Opening August 18, the show features works acquired during his tenure as director of the Organization of American States’s art program. A symposium on September 15 will explore Gómez Sicre’s promotion of Cuban art and its links to Cuban art today. The symposium will close with a reception for the show, 6–8 p.m. The exhibition runs to August 6, 2017.

Tresart moving to Wynwood. After ten years in Coral Gables, the gallery is headed to Wynwood, where it expects to open its doors on NW 2nd Avenue next month. The new space will more than triple the gallery’s current square footage, and to expand its exhibition program. Tresart specializes in Latin American art with a strong focus in modern, contemporary, and 19th- and 20th-century masters.

Nasher acquires Mendieta works. The Nasher Sculpture Center has acquired several works by Ana Mendieta. They include the 1975 film Silueta Sangrienta (Bleeding Silhouette), a pair of 1982 photographs titled Untitled (Mayora), and an untitled 1985 wood-and-gunpowder sculpture, one of six wooden slab sculptures that Mendieta made in the final year of her life.

A frame from Sillueta Sangrienta, a 1975 film by Ana Mendieta recently acquired by the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas.

Courtesy Nasher Sculpture Center. © The Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection, LLC, courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York

Save the Date #2: Nader presents Lam in London. Gary Nader and the Nader Latin American Art Museum (NLAAM) have announced the museum’s inaugural exhibition: Wifredo Lam – One Man Show, which will be presented at the London galleries of the Phillips auction house. Scheduled to coincide with the Tate Museum’s presentation of the Wifredo Lam retrospective currently at the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid, the exhibition will explore the phases of Lam’s career from its beginnings in the 1920s and 1930s. Opening October 10, Wifredo Lam – One Man Show will run through November 5.

A poster for Hermanas en ruedas (Sisters on Wheels), a documentary about women skateboarders in Havana by US filmmaker Amberly Alene Ellis.

Courtesy Amberly Alene Ellis and

For your reading (and viewing) pleasure. On the Remezcla website, read about—and watch a 4-minute clip from—Hermanas en ruedas (Sisters on Wheels), Amberly Alene Ellis’s street-savvy documentary on women skateboarders in Havana. Then catch up with their counterparts in the Bronx, Las Brujas (The Witches), in a recent story (with video) in the New York Times.

And to watch right here. Just released by CIFO, a not-quite-two-minute trailer for the upcoming video of this spring’s groundbreaking CIFO Talk, “The Generation of Volumen Uno – The art scene in Cuba between 1978 and 1984.” Look for the full-length version—with images and documents not previously presented publicly—later this fall.