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Fragments of contemporary Cuba at ARCOmadrid 2019
EventsSemana de Arte en Madrid

Fragments of contemporary Cuba at ARCOmadrid 2019

After two editions attending ARCOmadrid as part of its curated program Opening, the Havana gallery "El Apartamento" makes the leap to the General Program, with a curatorial proposal that includes works by Cuban artists Diana Fonseca, Yaima Carrazana, Reynier, Leyva Novo and Juan Carlos Alom.

As reported from "El Apartamento" the curator and art critic Daleysi Moya, the theme of the show will be the figure (rhetoric, conceptual and aesthetics) of the fragment: "The fragment understood not only as an amputation and isolated circumstance, but also as a completion".

"Every fragment is an interruption of how much it flows and, as an interruption, it becomes - thanks to its scrutiny capacity - an effective analysis device. What is isolated can be seen with fresh eyes. To accidentally or deliberately dismember the linearity of the stories constitutes the first step to penetrate them, to dismantle their intimate senses, to alter the appearance ".

Diana Fonseca (Havana, 1978), Yaima Carrazana (Santiago de Cuba, 1981), Reynier Leyva Novo (Havana, 1983) and Juan Carlos Alom (Havana, 1964) take as starting point "the inexhaustible capacities of the fragment. The game with the incomplete can occur in them from references, appropriations, textual and visual restructuring, breaks in personal or collective times ... "

For example, the "Degradaciones", by Diana Fonseca, are pieces created with pieces of layers of Havanan facade paint, a random superposition of pictorial remains that generates an abstract visuality that, nevertheless, collects the history of the city in a work autonomous. The history of the Cuban capital is told in these pieces with the language of the temporal fragment.

In another corner of the world, Yaima Carrazana also speaks of a city, of a whole culture that is, in turn, the system in which an immigrant tries to reinvent herself beyond the island (Series "Foreign Affairs"). To do this, use the color and its symbolism, orange, green, blue and red, tonalities used by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in its official communication with migrants. This color palette becomes a metaphor for control and surveillance of the other, the foreigner, the stranger.


Yaima Carrazana. Foreign Affair No.3
Yaima Carrazana Foreign Affair No.3


In cases like that of Reynier Leyva Novo (who was already at the Fair, in 2017), the fragment operates as a textual omission and alteration of the temporal logic of History. Thus, the pieces that participate in "A happy day" promote a post-utopian vision of dictatorships, motivated by a utopian conception of society; These are anthological photographs of dictators in which the protagonist has been removed from the composition thanks to a complex digital work of the images.


Reynier Leyva Novo. Sin título (El pueblo cubano va al mar) 2018
Reynier Leyva Novo. Untitled (El pueblo cubano va al mar) (The Cuban people go to the sea) 2018


Finally, Juan Carlos Alom (another who repeats in ARCO and the most veteran of all), is related to the notion of the fragmentary from a position of selection and isolation of the anonymous subject. There is a will to look inside on his work, to stop at the man on foot, a basic piece of the complex filigree that is the Cuban society of today.


Juan Carlos Alom. PM. De la serie Período Especial (1989)
Juan Carlos Alom. P.M. From the series Período Especial (Special Period) (1989)


More than two hundred galleries from 30 countries will gather at the 38th edition of ARCOmadrid, the International Contemporary Art Fair organized by IFEMA, to be held in the Spanish capital, between February 27 and March 3, with Peru as a country invited; of Cuba, in addition to “El Apartamento” will be “La Acacia”, as part of the Diálogos curated program.