For the exhibition Cuba – Ficción y Fantasía at Casa Daros, curators Hans-Michael Herzog and Katrin Steffen have selected works from seventeen Cuban artists, most of whom live and work in Havana. The 119 works of art on display that have found their way into the Daros Latinamerica Collection over the past fifteen years were created between 1975 and 2008, thus spanning more than thirty years. This selection is of course not capable of giving a comprehensive overview of all artistic movements in Cuba; it does, however, provide an excellent insight into the most important facets of Cuban artistic creation of the past decades.
Ranging from an underlying critical distance to irony to sarcasm, the political and social analysis as pursued by Lázaro Saavedra, René Francisco, and Tonel is both absorbing and animating. The works by Los Carpinteros (Marco Antonio Castillo Valdés, Dagoberto Rodríguez Sánchez, Alexandre Jesús Arrechea Zambrano) and by the brothers Ivan and Yoan Capote are characterized by playful conceptualism and reflect the conditions and contradictions that are specifically Cuban and frequently bizarre. Juan Carlos Alom has created a very distinct and mysteriously poetic imagery of an existentialist nature, while the photographic works by Manuel Piña deal with the tension between longing and inevitable reality. The everyday videos by Javier Castro intelligently render what his fellow citizen Joe Blow has to say. In their radical performances, Ana Mendieta and Tania Bruguera open the discussion on their existential condition as women and as sociopolitical beings, respectively. Marta Maria Pérez Bravo examines her own (female) role against the iconographic backdrop of the Santería, a syncretic Cuban religion. José Bedia, Belkis Ayón, and Santiago Rodríguez Olazábal, finally, artistically reflect the spiritual imagery of Afro-Cuban religions that appears so mysterious to the not initiated.
Casa Daros Website