Tag Archives: Cuba

Video of the Week: Regalos (Gifts)

This weeks video of the week is a bumper package – containing 2 videos freely available online – each featuring the contemporary Boston-based artist, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons:

“a woman, an expatriate, and a Cuban, [she] makes art about identity and memory. Like all good art that begins in the personal, her work echoes the lives of all Black people rooted in Cuba, and of legions of fellow travelers from around the world at the turn of the 21st century. Born in Cuba of Nigerian ancestry… She settled [in Boston] not because she wanted to leave Cuba, but because she married a Bostonian. She decided to stay, to make a marriage, to have children, to live as one from somewhere else. ” (via North Dakota Museum of Art http://www.ndmoa.com/campos/index.html)

The first is a short video of a performance Regalos (Gifts) Campos-Pons gave at the opening of “Everything Is Separated By Water” at the Indianapolis Museum of Art in February 2007.

The second video is a focussed exploration of the work of Campos-Pons through a lecture by the artist also given in 2007  as part of the Contemporary Perspectives Lecture Series hosted by the College of Fine Arts School of Visual Arts, Boston University.

Campos-Pons’ De Las Dos Aguas was one of the artworks exhibited in Tate Liverpool’s 2010 exhibition Afro Modern: Journey’s through the Black Atlantic. Her profile page on the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston website describes her multidisciplinary work as follows:

“Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons’ work of the last 20 years covers an extended range of visual language investigations. Campos-Pons’ work emerges from the early 1980s focus on painting and the discussion of sexuality in the crossroads of Cuban mixed cultural heritage to incisive questioning, critique and insertion of the black body in the contemporary narratives of the present. Installation art, performative photography and cultural activism define the core of Campos-Pons’ practice of the last two decades. A cross collaboration with musician composer and husband, Neil Leonard, that started in 1988, has complemented and enriched the scope of Campos-Pons’ work. Together they founded GASP, a lab and studio for the 21st century. She has lectured from the Tate Modern to the Brooklyn Museum and the School of Art in Dakar.”

To find out more about the work of this artist click here.

To see more images of this artist work click the links below:

North Dakota Museum of Art

Bernice Steinbaum Gallery

Universe in Universe

Liverpool Biennial


El Otro Lado Del Alma: Syncretisms in Contemporary Cuban Photography

The Black Atlantic Resource is pleased to announce new research materials online relating to the exhibition el otro lado del alma, including images from the exhibition alongside two articles from the catalogue (in English and German) The Other Side of the Soul, by Curator of the exhibition Moritz Neumüller, and Gods Without Masters by Cuban Anthropologist and expert in syncretistic religions Natalia Bolívar.

El otro lado del alma is not an ethnological exhibition. It is a show on Contemporary Cuban Photography, with a thematic focus on a cultural phenomenon. El otro lado del alma is not an anthology of Cuban photography. Yet, it does give an idea of the various artistic tendencies in contemporary artistic creation in Cuba. El otro lado del alma does not repeat the classic clichés on Cuba, such as vintage cars, Che Guevara and the deterioration of Old Havana. It was co-produced by (and for) Cuba’s National Museum of Photography and therefore gives an inside view in contemporary Cuban live, that takes place far from the tourist attractions (but sometimes also near to them).

Cuban culture has often been described as a product of a syncretistic process, in which the Afro-Cuban cults play an important part. These religions originate from the intermingling of African spirituality with Spanish Catholicism and beliefs of the native inhabitants. El otro lado del alma (the other side of the soul) was produced in cooperation with the Fototeca de Cuba, Havana’s Museum of Photography. It is the first comprehensive exhibition on the role of syncretisms in contemporary Cuban photography and video art. At the same time, the subject serves to contrast two vivid photographic traditions on the island: On the one hand, the great achievements of Epic Photography which are still widely present in reportages and journalistic photography. On the other hand, contemporary Cuban photography and video art are often seen in the context of New Cuban Art and neo-conceptualism. These new approaches have largely substituted the documentary viewpoint in recent art exhibitions and publications. Articles from th is exhibition catalogue, however,presents a wide range of different contemporary positions reflecting el otro lado del alma, the other side of the Cuban soul.

The exhibition has been shown in the following venues:
Fototeca de Cuba, Havana, Cuba: February 12th, 2003 – Mach 6th, 2003
Kornhausforum, Bern, Switzerland: January 20th – March 20th, 2005
Clarisses’ Church, Bratislava Month of Photography: Nov. 3rd – Dec. 3rd, 2006

Participating artists:
Pedro Abascal, Juan Carlos Alóm, Jorge Luis Álvarez Pupo, Raúl Cañibano, Elio Delgado, Ricardo Elías Kattia García, LyN (Liudmila Velasco and Nelson R. de Arellano), Humberto Mayol, Ramón Pacheco, René Peña, Marta María Pérez Bravo, and Sandra Ramos.

To view these exciting new research materials click here.