Exposicion 'El Fin de la
Historia', Salamanca, España, 30/6/11
On the Way Out:
proposed 5 artist show on themes of racial identity, 5/00
Alexis Esquivel is a prominent Havana based painter and performance artist who has curated several exhibits on themes of racial identity.
Among these were Queloides I and Queloides II, the latter presented at Havana's Centro de
Desarollo de Artes Visuales in the fall of '99.
Alexis is proposing to bring two shows to the US: one a 5 person show, "On the Way Out," and another a personal show, "The Threshold." "On the Way Out" continues the themes of racial identity begun in the Queloides expositions.
Exposición "Los próximos héroes", La Lisa, Albacete, España, del 19/10/12 al 30/9/13
ALEXIS ESQUIVEL – LOS PRÓXIMOS HÉROES 10/15/2012 Disiarte: " Del 19 de octubre de 2012 al 30 de noviembre de 2013 la galería La Lisa Arte Contemporáneo de Albacete, Castilla la Mancha, España, presenta la exposición personal “Los próximos héroes” del artista cubano Alexis Esquivel, quien reside y trabaja desde hace algún tiempo entre Salamanca y La Habana. La muestra ha sido comisariada por Omar Pascual Castillo, director artístico del Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno (CAAM) de las Palmas de Gran Canaria, y reúne una selección de los trabajos realizados por el artista en los últimos dos años."
El próximo 30 de Junio, 2011, a las 20.00 horas tendrá lugar la inauguración de la exposición colectiva EL FIN DE LA HISTORIA...y el retorno de la pintura de
historia. Veinte artistas reflexionan, en formato pictórico, sobre algunos de los últimos acontecimientos históricos sucedidos en el seno de nuestra
sociedad. ¡¡¡Os esperamos a todos !!!
Domus Artium 2002
Avenida de la Aldehuela s/n
Siguenos en FACEBOOK
Alexis Esquivel will be in residence at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia from mid January until the end of March. He is available for presentations, seminars, exhibits until June 15 after that.
At the University of Georgia, Alexis is developing a number of artistic projects. During his stay he will be collaborating on a book project with musicologist Susan Thomas. The project looks at the role of artists and musicians in the last decade and examines how their artistic products and personal and professional experiences have participated in the processes of internationalization and have helped to shape ideas about Cuban identity
If interested, contact him at aesquivel_AT_cubarte.cult.cu [replace _AT_ with @]
Alexis is in residence in Boston for early 2001, until 4/15 and possibly later.
Monday, the 26th of February Alexis and fellow artists Elio Rodriguéz and Andres Montalban, who all participated in the 1999 Queloides exhibit in Havana on race in Cuba, will give a talk and show slides on issues of race, identity, and art in Cuba. The talk will be at the Latino Center at 226 College Ave (corner of Professor's Row) on the Tufts campus Monday evening at 7 PM.
February 27th, Alexis will perform his work "La Soga Maravillosa" ("The Marvelous Soga") at the Aidekman Arts Center at 5:30 PM. The Soga is a rope that was used to separate black Cubans from white Cubans at a party. See La Soga for photos.
Cubanmusician Jose Luis Estrada is contributing to this performance. Jose Luis Estrada is an important musician of his generation, in Cuba he played with the duo Los Cachibachi and Alcohol de 90. On March second he will be playing with his band "90 Proof" at Club Europa 98-104 Meserole Ave (Manhattan Ave) in Manhattan, NY (The Nassau stop on the G train) for more information, www.hotelamazon.com.
Alexis will have another exibit at Dudley House, Harvard University (right by Harvard Square) in March and April. The opening is March 16 at 7 PM and it extends to April 8th. The exhibit is entitled "La Luna Me estamirando," meaning "the Moon is watching me," of which we have here a sample (click on it to enlarge):
The 22nd of February 2001 at 6PM, Tufts University Gallery, situated in the Aidekman Arts Center, Medford, MA, an exhibit opened entitled Tufts University Collections Selections in which Alexis Esquivel has "La Soga Maravillosa" ("The Marvelous Soga," an installation from 1999) which now forms a permanent part of Tufts' collection.
|Carving Cultural Space
[extracted from Eugene Robinson's article Cuba Begins to Answer Its Race Question, 11/12]
"The first thing you're accused of when you do work like this," said artist Alexis Esquivel, fingering his long dreadlocks, "is that you're doing something to damage the image of Cuba."
"Work like this" means the exhibitions that Esquivel, 31, and a group of Cuban artists, black and white, organized on the theme of race in Cuba. The first was called "Keloids," a reference to the raised scars that form when African skin is wounded.
One artist, Manuel Arenas, showed two paintings that dealt with black Cubans' experience in the streets--one titled "Look Out, There's a Black Man," and the other titled "ID Card" and showing a black man, set against the national emblem, opening his identity card as if to show it to a policeman. Another artist, Rene Pena, played against the stereotype of the Cuban black man as sexually voracious with a photograph of a black man's nude torso in which the penis is replaced by a knife blade.
Esquivel's work in this show, mounted at the Center for Development of the Visual Arts, centered on the soga--a rope that was used long ago at dances and other functions to separate blacks from whites. The soga is a theme he returns to again and again, sometimes installing a rope high in a gallery so that only the observant notice it, sometimes using the rope as a barrier, sometimes tying rope tightly around his face like a horse's bridle--or an instrument of bondage.
To Esquivel's surprise, the exhibition was reviewed in the official Communist Party newspaper Granma. The review was generally positive, if somewhat cool, but the significant thing was that the show was acknowledged at all. Esquivel went on to help mount a second "Keloids" exhibition.
Esquivel's own history is instructive. A mulatto by Cuban standards, he grew up in a small town in the interior. His artistic talent was recognized and he was sent to another province, Pinar del Rio, to attend a special school. Almost all of his classmates were white, and to hear him talk of the experience is like listening to a young black man talk about how he felt going to St. Albans or Sidwell Friends.
"I had to suppress my musical tastes," he said. "I liked traditional music, music you could dance to, but my friends were all into rock. I was conflicted."
"People would say something like, 'Those blacks, they're horrible.' Then they'd turn to me and say, 'Oh no, Alexis, we're not talking about you, you're fine.' Imagine what that does to a person."
He recalls the moment of his radicalization: For an assignment in school, he read "The Autobiography of Malcolm X." From that point, he identified himself as black.
"I remember going home on a visit," he said, "and telling my mother not to use hair straightener anymore."
Esquivel's partner in putting on the exhibitions was a Cuban art historian, Ariel Ribeaux, who wrote the manifesto for this gathering movement of black-themed art. Ribeaux's award-winning essay was entitled "Neither Musicians Nor Athletes."
Calazada No 408, Primer Piso
Entre F y G
La Habana, Cuba
aesquivel_AT_cubarte.cult.cu [replace _AT_ with @]
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