"We are very happy to be able to show our work to a diverse public, such as the one who attended the inauguration of the Cuba Pavilion at the Venice Biennial; and that they could appreciate the proposal that each one of us took. Well, although somehow there is a curatorial line and the works can be intertwined in terms of idea, individually we present a different proposal in formal ".
So pleased was Ariamna Contino heard, during the meeting that part of the Cuban representation at the event recently held with the press, which was not attended for reasons of work the president of the National Council of Plastic Arts Norma Rodríguez Derivet, who served there as a Commissioner; and Alejandro Campins, another of the selected artists with Alex Hernández.
Based on the theme of this edition of the oldest quote of its kind: May You Live in Interesting Times, which in Spanish translates as Usted puede vivir en tiempos interesantes, the curator Margarita Sánchez Prieto conceived a proposal in correspondence with this , and with the work of the three creators, which entitled The sobering environment.
"In the theme given by the British Ralph Rugoff, general curator of this Biennial, alludes to a Chinese curse and, in an elliptical way, to the fact that we are experiencing moments of crisis, of uncertainty. We're in interesting times
For their part, the chosen Cuban artists usually direct their attention towards the outside, towards the environment; They are not so focused on the human figure. And I also wanted to highlight the environment because Rugoff's curatorial platform gives rise to thinking that we should look at what is happening; although not focusing on what the individual feels, but on the event itself ".
Explained the specialist of the Contemporary Art Center Wifredo Lam, referring to the exhibition there of Penance, the installation of Ariamna Contino and a natural State, the transdisciplinary work of Alex Hernández; as well as the paintings and photographs of Alejandro Campins, presented to the public and critics until November 24 at the Pavilion of Cuba, located on the Island of San Servolo, where the Italian Eugenio Tibaldi also shows his works.
To the depredation of nature on the part of man and the need to keep it from the damages caused by it, points out the work of Ariamna Contino, an artist who frequently uses the paper-cut technique.
"My piece was thought and concretized from a statistic about the number of trees that need to be cut to obtain a ton of paper.
The work represents a forest of birches, one of the trees that are used to produce paper pulp. Then, from the calculation I got from the amount of paper necessary for that representation, I planted 245 birch postures in bags, which are inside the space of the Pavilion where my work is.
My idea is that later, at the end of the show, each person who attends can take one of these trees and replant it, so that the forest naturally spreads".
Meanwhile, his partner in life and art, Alex Hernández, took to the 58th Venice Biennial the results of the second stage of working progress Natural state, whose initial part was presented at the end of last year at Galería Habana, with the intention to highlight the harmful effects that human intervention can cause in nature.
"In this work I try to create parallels between natural structures and artificial structures built by man. Based on cities, structures of an army and industry, I create abstract reticles that I then introduce into bee hives, to force them to work in a structure that is foreign to them. That is, build the cells following the patterns I'm giving them. Patterns for which I take as a reference to the human being.
Now in Venice there was a wider presentation of this whole process, where it was possible to include more documentation, because the experiment had advanced. We were able to include videos, bring hives from Artemisa and show the result of these structures of combs already worked by bees", said the artist.
From the works of Alejandro Campins, for a few weeks traveling through the Himalayas, Margarita Sánchez Prieto explained that they consist of three of the large-format paintings also exhibited at the end of last year at CAC Wifredo Lam, as part of the personal exhibition Fear of death is fear of the truth.
Also, from this author was taken to the 58th Venice Biennial a selection of his photographs also with the theme of bunkers he found in different parts of the world, and inserted into the landscape as archaeological pieces that, however, warn about the latent danger of wars.
On behalf of himself and his partner, Alex Hernandez told reporters:
"We are very pleased to be part of the Cuban Pavilion. For us it had always been like a dream the idea of being in a mega event like this and we were given the opportunity now; with so many important artists in the country and so many young artists with a serious and rigorous career.
They chose us and for us it was like a challenge; something very important to which we put all our attention during the last six months, which was the time in which we were preparing our participation in Venice. We have tried to make a role as worthy as possible in the presentation of a National Pavilion; in the midst of others from many countries, including industrialized countries, such as Germany or the United States.
The artists put a lot of emphasis on national presentations and we wanted Cuba to be up to the task and, therefore, with that rigor we work ".