Starting out in Havana…
Curadores, Come Home! #3. Last Thursday, March 6, saw the opening of the third installment in the ongoing series at Espacio Aglutinador, organized by artist and curator Sandra Ceballos. Previous editions featured curators Gerard Mosquera (presenting Santiago Sierra) and Rachel Weiss (presenting Glexis Novoa and Celia-Yunior): the current show, which presents selected anonymous artists, features curator and art theorist Magaly Espinosa.
Fernando Rodríguez: Work in Paper. Opening late last month at Galería Servando, this solo exhibition features recent work by the conceptual artist best know for his “collaborations” with the fictional folk artist, the blind guajiro Francisco de la Cal.
Art Attack. Stainless vs. The-Merger. Only a couple more days to catch this show, which closes this Saturday, March 15, at Galería Galiano. It pits two artmaking collaboratives, known for sleek materials and a Pop Art sensibility, in what sounds like an interesting match-up.
Geo-Gráfica, diseñadores cubanos del mundo. This international exhibition assembles works by 18 young Cuban designers living abroad—among them David Alfonso, Laura Díaz, and Kedgar Volta—presenting most of them for the first time on the island, alongside works by island residents intended for the international market. The idea is to encourage design involvement with real-world projects, and to promote the appreciation of how Cuban creativity has adapted to a range of contexts while spotlighting the quality of the education that these designers received in Cuba. Organized by Annick and Yannick Woungly Massaga with curator Claudio Sotolongo, Geo-Gráfica, diseñadores cubanos del mundo, runs through March 28 in Galería L of the University of Havana. For more on the exhibition, see Lorena Sánchez’s report in Cuba Contemporánea.
Havana Charrette. And speaking of Cuban designers, the Havana Charrette is back after a one-year absence while its lead organizer on the island, urbanist Julio César Pérez, was a visiting scholar at U.S. institutions. With a focus on the Vedado district, this year’s Charrette began this past Sunday and runs through this weekend.
And moving up to the U.S….
Drapetomanía comes to NYC. Cuban Art News readers may recall last year’s interview with Alejandro de la Fuente, curator and organizer of the exhibition Drapetomanía: Exposición Homenaje a Grupo Antillano (Drapetomania: An Exhibition Homage to the Antillean Group) when the show debuted in Santiago de Cuba. From there it traveled to Havana last summer, and a companion book was also published. Now, Drapetomanía has come to New York City, where it’s on view at The 8th Floor through July 18.
Carlos Martiel: Plegaria Muda in L.A. Wrapping up a month-long show this Saturday, Martiel’s performance and video features the artist, naked in the center of the room, with thin strands of nylon wire sewn into his body and extended to the walls of the room. According to guest curator Edna Sandoval, in “Plegaria Muda [Silent Prayer], Martiel explores what it is to be human and seeks to know for himself whether he has any life force beyond the borders of his own physical body. This question, one that has been asked since the beginning of mankind, is fundamental to all the world’s religions and it centers on the notion of one having a spirit. In aiming to remain still, Martiel seeks to animate the conflict between that objective and the environment around him so that the bells will represent his spirit.” Through Saturday, March 15, at Steve Turner Contemporary.
In His Own Likeness in Miami. It’s also the last weekend to catch this group show organized by Cuban-born curator Marivi Véliz, her first after moving to Miami. Examining the relationship of gender, power, and divinity, the show’s four artists include Rocío García, along with artists from Mexico and Guatemala. Through Sunday, March 16 at ArtCenter/South Florida.
Camagüeyanas at MDC. Four women artists from the province of Camagüey—Alejandrina Silvera, Isabel de la Mercedes Guerra, Martha, Jiménez, and Maydelina Pérez Lezcano—make their Miami debut in this group show at the Koubek Center of Miami Dade College. Opening this Saturday, March 15.
Luis Gispert: Tender Game. Fresh from his investigation of American car culture, the Cuban-American photo artist shifts his gaze to the cockpits of a succession of military planes. With titles like Old Shaky and Fat Fred, these photos juxtapose the aircrafts’ instrument panels with the somewhat fantastic landscapes beyond their windshields. On view at David Castillo Gallery in Miami through Saturday, March 29.
“New Directions in Cuban Studies.” The Cuban Heritage Collection at the University of Miami Libraries is hosting a two-day conference surveying this academic field, Thursday-Friday, March 20-21. The conference is free and open to the public, but registration is required. For more information, including a list of topics, check the conference web page.
“Havana Nagila” in NYC. World music takes an interesting off-road turn with this blend of Cuban rhythms and traditional Jewish klezmer music. Presented by the World Music Institute and the Newish Jewish Music Festival, “Havana Nagila” features the Klezmatics, pianist and orchestra leader Arturo O’Farrill, and Cuban vocalists—maybe, we hear, Xiomara Laugart. Sunday, March 23 at Town Hall. For details, see the Town Hall website.