The first retrospective exhibition of Alexis Leiva Machado, Kcho, entitled Sacrificio en la Encrucijada (Sacrifice in the Crossroad), opened yesterday, Sunday, in Havana. Spectators will have the opportunity of admiring, through April, drawings, sculptures and installations created by the Cuban artist, at the impressive upper hall of the Havana Grand Theater, which presently stands as a new benchmark for contemporary visual arts in the city.
During a press conference held last Friday, Kcho said: “this is the exhibition that I have never done”. Actually, we can only remember La Columna Infinita with such magnitude, at Reina Sofia Art Center (Palacio de Cristal). Both exhibitions culled artworks from different times as common element, as well as the will of establishing a dialogue among them within the same space, in a sort of tour around the idea, from its origin and structure. The exhibition to be unveiled today, Memoria construida (1989-2011) features a paradigmatic sense, as viewers will see, in the usage of latex gloves to leaf through a group of Kcho’s drawing notebooks from different moments of his career. Some of his most acclaimed works have been projected in those sheets.
So, Sacrificio en la Encrucijada proposes the rereading of famous artworks and their coexistence with other unpublished works. Twelve ways of spreading the reflections of this “islander”: the so-known Vive y deja vivir (the previous editions were held back in 2006 and 2011) and La historia como un carrusel… (from Punto de Encuentro exhibition, Tenth Havana Biennial); as well as the colossal David and Fenix, among others.
The artist also mentioned the printed materials that complement the exhibition, such as a tabloid that includes the exhibitions as well as texts written by seven authors: Abel Prieto, Miguel Barnet, Corina Matamoros, Manuel Orestes Nieto, Luciano Caprile, Virginia Alberdi and Kcho himself. An element to be highlighted is the didactic vocation that can be observed in the reiteration of these texts in large formats, hanging from walls that have been strategically placed within the boundaries of the hall. As Kcho says: “Those who can’t get the catalogue can find all that information in large-scale printed texts. For the opening ceremony, we have a tabloid and, afterwards, we’ll publish a catalogue with pictures of these artworks, and viewers interacting with them…”
When asked about his projects for the upcoming Havana Biennial, the artist reminded the Punto de Encuentro project, carried out during the tenth edition in an effort to pay tribute to this event, and announced the publication of a catalogue with information on it. He also noted that El David will stay at the Havana Grand Theater, while other activities will be held at La Cabaña. However, he didn’t want to reveal more information about it, so we are looking forward to learning more details soon.