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Drapetomania: Grupo Antillano and the Art of Afro-Cuba
www.queloides-exhibit.com/grupo-antillano/

DRAPETOMANÍA: GRUPO ANTILLANO AND THE ART OF AFRO-­CUBA, Curated by Alejandro de la Fuente
March 7th – July 18th, 2014 -- The 8th Floor - www.the8thfloor.org, New York     Tuesday – Thursday, 11am – 6pm, Friday, 10 am – 5pm

Drapetomanía: Grupo Antillano and the Art of Afro-Cuba  3/2/2014 8th floor, New York: March 7 – July 18, 2014

Drapetomania: Grupo Antillano and the Art of Afro-Cuba, at CDAV, Havana, Cuba 7/23/2013 ArtNexus: "After a successful presentation in Santiago de Cuba, where it was described as "one of the best visual art exhibits of the last few years in Santiago de Cuba," Drapetomania: Grupo Antillano and the Art of Afro-Cuba opens at the Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales in Havana, Cuba, from August 3 to August 31."

The art exhibit Drapetomania: Exposición Homenaje a Grupo Antillano first opened at the Galería de Arte Universal in Santiago de Cuba on April 5, 2013. The exhibit is complemented by the volume Grupo Antillano: The Art of Afro-Cuba, edited by Alejandro de la Fuente, with essays by several Cuban (Guillermina Ramos Cruz, José Veigas) and American (Judith Bettelheim) art critics and historians. The project is sponsored by the Ford Foundation, by the Santiago de Cuba-based Caguayo Foundation for the Monumental and Applied Arts and by the University of Pittsburgh, Center for Latin American Studies.

A forgotten visual arts and cultural movement that thrived briefly between 1978 and 1983, Grupo Antillano articulated a vision of Cuban culture that privileged the importance of Africa and Afro-Caribbean influences in the formation of the Cuban nation. In contrast to official characterizations of Santeria and other African religious practices as primitive and counter-revolutionary during the so-called Quinquenio Gris (a "grey" period of neo-Stalinist censorship during the 1970s), Grupo Antillano valiantly proclaimed the centrality of African practices in national culture. They viewed Africa and the surrounding Caribbean not as a dead cultural heritage, but as a vibrant, ongoing and vital influence that continued to define what it means to be Cuban. Some Afro-Cuban intellectuals, such as the noted ethnomusicologist Rogelio Martínez Furé, proclaimed triumphantly that a "new," authentic Cuban art had been born.

Drapetomania - invitationYet neither this "new art" nor the very existence of Grupo Antillano are remembered today. Grupo Antillano has been removed from all accounts of the so-called "new Cuban art," a movement that took shape precisely during those years and that is frequently associated with the legendary exhibit Volumen Uno (1981). In contrast to Grupo Antillano, most of the artists of Volmen Uno did not look towards Africa or the Caribbean for inspiration, but to new trends in Western art. The "new art of Cuba," to use the title of art scholar Luis Camnitzer's famous book, came to be identified with the westernized approach of Volumen Uno, not with the Afro-Caribbean art of Grupo Antillano.

This exhibit seeks to recover the history of this group and their important contributions to the art of Cuba, the Caribbean and the African Diaspora. Several members of Grupo Antillano had attended the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) in Nigeria in 1977 and saw their work as part of a diasporic conversation on art, race and colonialism--what sculptor Rafael Queneditt, founder of the group, called "the black movement." As the Group stated in its foundational manifesto (1978), "The Antilles are our real environment... We are not interested in other worlds." They saw their work as part of a long tradition of struggle, cultural affirmation and cimarronaje. This is what a Louisiana medical doctor described in the nineteenth-century as the slave disease drapetomania. The main symptom of this disease was an irresistible urge to run away and escape slavery.

The exhibit showcases works by the artists who belonged to Grupo Antillano and works by a group of contemporary artists. As an intellectual and curatorial project, the exhibit suggests that some of the concerns and anxieties articulated by Grupo Antillano thirty years ago continue to inform the work of contemporary Cuban artists. The exhibit offers a revisionist understanding of the "new art of Cuba" through the work of artists who have been concerned with issues of race, history, and the centrality of Africa and the Caribbean to Cuban culture and national identity. It also brings together, for the first time, the artists of Grupo Antillano and some of the artists of Volumen Uno.

Artists of Grupo Antillano who participate in the exhibit:
Esteban Ayala, Clara Morera, Rogelio Rodríguez Cobas, Manuel Couceiro, Herminio Escalona, Ever Fonseca, Ramón Haití, Arnaldo Rodríguez Larrinaga, Oscar Rodríguez Lasseria, Alberto Lescay, Manuel Mendive, Leonel Morales, Miguel Ocejo, Rafael Queneditt, Julia Valdés.

Contemporary artists in the exhibit:
Belkis Ayón, José Bedia, Choco (Eduardo Roca Salazar), Juan Roberto Diago, Douglas Pérez, Elio Rodríguez Valdés, Alexis Esquivel, Andrés Montalván Cuéllar, Santiago Rodríguez Olazabal, René Peña, Marta María Pérez Bravo, Leandro Soto.

Curator: Alejandro de la Fuente
University of Pittsburgh, Department of History
Phone (w): 412-6487468; (h): 412-5314425
Email: delafuente_a AT yahoo.com; fuente2 AT pitt.edu


The book: "Grupo Antillano: The Art of Afro-Cuba"top
Alejandro de la Fuente, editor
(English and Spanish Edition) [Paperback]   Click here for a look inside the book, for pricing & to order  ==> Amazon.com

This bilingual (English and Spanish) book offers the first comprehensive study of Grupo Antillano, an Afro-Cuban visual arts and cultural movement that thrived between 1978 and 1983 and has been written out of Cuban cultural and art history. Grupo Antillano articulated a vision of Cuban culture that privileged the importance of Africa and of Afro-Caribbean influences in the formation of the Cuban nation. In contrast to the official characterization of Santeria and other African religious and cultural practices as primitive and retrograde during the 1970s, Grupo Antillano valiantly proclaimed the centrality of African practices in national culture. They viewed Africa and the surrounding Caribbean not as a dead cultural heritage, but as a vibrant, ongoing and vital influence that continued to define what it meant to be Cuban. Some Afro-Cuban intellectuals, such as the noted ethnomusicologist Rogelio Martínez Furé, who was a collaborator of the group, even proclaimed that a "new," authentic Cuban art (radical, popular, black) had been born. That is the art that this book seeks to recover and to honor.

Alejandro de la Fuente is UCIS (University Center for International Studies) Research Professor of History and Latin American Studies and the director of graduate studies in history at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of Havana and the Atlantic in the Sixteenth Century, and A Nation for All: Race, Inequality, and Politics in Twentieth-Century Cuba, and editor of Queloides: Race and Racism in Cuban Contemporary Art. Alejandro de la Fuente is also the cocurator of the art exhibit Queloides: Race and Racism in Cuban Contemporary Art, which was presented in Havana, Pittsburgh, New York City, and Cambridge, MA.


Articles/Articulostop

El presidente Jimmy Carter visita la galería The 8th Floor, donde se expone 'Drapetomanía'  4/5/2014 Diario de Cuba: "Asimismo, el escultor y activista americano Mel Edwards, amigo de varios miembros de Grupo Antillano, asistió a la inauguración de la exposición en Nueva York, el pasado 7 de marzo, donde se reencontró con algunos de sus amigos cubanos. Edwards conoció a varios miembros de Grupo Antillano en 1977, cuando estos asistieron al segundo Festival de las Artes y la Cultura de África y el Mundo Negro (FESTAC) en Nigeria y veían su trabajo como parte de una "conversación diaspórica sobre arte, raza y colonialismo"."

President Jimmy Carter at The 8th Floor  4/2/2014 Harvard Gazette: "The 8th Floor was proud to host a social event on Sunday, March 23, attended by President Jimmy Carter and by his grandson, Georgia State Sen. Jason Carter. President Carter visited The 8th Floor, the art gallery supported by philanthropists and art collectors Shelley and Donald Rubin in New York City, where the art exhibit Drapetomanía: Grupo Antillano and the Art of Afro-Cuba, curated by Harvard Professor Alejandro de la Fuente, is currently on display."

President Jimmy Carter visits Drapetomania at The 8th Floor  3/23/2014 The 8th Floor: "The 8th Floor was proud to host a social event On Sunday, March 23rd, attended by President Jimmy Carter and by his grandson, Georgia State Senator Jason Carter. President Jimmy Carter visited The 8th Floor, the art gallery supported by philanthropists and art collectors Shelley and Donald Rubin in New York City, where the art exhibit Drapetomanía: Grupo Antillano and the Art of Afro-Cuba, curated by Harvard professor Alejandro de la Fuente, is currently on display. Organized by Rachel Weingeist, Director of The 8th Floor, the event allowed a group of supporters and friends of President Carter to mingle with the President and to experience a sample of Cuban contemporary art."

El silencio, ese enemigo 8/15/2013 Cubarte: por Heriberto Feraudy Espino - "Rogelio Martinez Furé, ya me había hablado del Grupo Antillano y de su guía y fundador Rafael Queneditt. Confieso que hasta ese momento del diálogo inimaginado que desde hace algunos años sostengo con el cimarrón de la palabra, desconocía la existencia de esa página de la cultura cubana pasada al olvido por ese enemigo silencio."

Drapetomania: An Exhibition Homage to the Antillean Group 7/24/2013 The 8th Floor, NY: "Opening in 2014. Drapetomanía will explore the “forgotten” visual arts and cultural movement of Grupo Antillano, which thrived between 1978 and 1983. The group emphasized the centrality of African practices in Cuban national culture. The exhibition will feature works by artists who belonged to Groupo Antillano, as well as contemporary Cuban artists."

Drapetomania: Grupo Antillano and the Art of Afro-Cuba, at CDAV, Havana, Cuba 7/23/2013 ArtNexus: "After a successful presentation in Santiago de Cuba, where it was described as "one of the best visual art exhibits of the last few years in Santiago de Cuba," Drapetomania: Grupo Antillano and the Art of Afro-Cuba opens at the Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales in Havana, Cuba, from August 3 to August 31."

Exposición homenaje a Grupo Antillano 4/10/2013 YouTube, TV Santiago: "En la Galería de Arte Universal de Santiago de Cuba se inauguró el Proyecto Dapretomanía, exposición homenaje al Grupo Antillano"

Exposición homenaje a Grupo Antillano 4/10/2013 TV Santiago: Desde un sitio en España - "En la Galería de Arte Universal de Santiago de Cuba se inauguró el Proyecto Dapretomanía, exposición homenaje al Grupo Antillano."

Exhiben en Cuba obras que reivindican elementos afrocaribeños 4/6/2013 Prensa Latina: "La exposición Drapetomanía se exhibe hoy aquí en homenaje al movimiento cultural conocido como Grupo Antillano, empeñado en contrarrestar la visión de las prácticas religiosas de origen africano como primitivas y retrógradas El movimiento, de carácter cultural y artístico, propuso entre 1978 y 1983 una visión que resaltaba la importancia de los elementos africanos y afrocaribeños en la formación de la identidad nacional."

'Drapetomanía': Homenaje al Grupo Antillano en Santiago de Cuba 4/5/2013 Diario de Cuba

Cien artistas pintan a Santiago de Cuba por medio milenio 4/4/2013 Cuba Si: "Como parte del auge de estas manifestaciones artísticas en la segunda ciudad cubana mañana quedará inaugurada en la Galería de Arte Universal la exposición Drapetomanía, en reverencia al Grupo Antillano, defensor de una visión afrocaribeña de la cultura."

En conversación: Alejandro de la Fuente, “Drapetomanía” y el Grupo Antillano 4/2/2013 Cuban Art News

Al movimiento afrocaribeño Exposición en Santiago 3/21/2013 CMKC - Radio Revolucion: "El Grupo Antillano se empeñó, entre 1978 y 1983, en contrarrestar la visión de la santería y otras prácticas religiosas de origen africano como primitivas y retrógradas, en una concepción de resistencia y afirmación culturales."

Manolito Couceiro: arte y patrimonio 9/26/2008 Cubarte

Links/Enlaces top

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grupo_Antillano

www.thefullwiki.org/Grupo_Antillano

“CUBA MESTIZA” Reflexiones, en Cuba. Artesanía en la Habana, lo bello y lo útil, Rafael Queneditt Morales

Ni Musicos ni deportistas : sobre los imagines del  negro en el arte cubano, escrito por Ariel Ribeaux, AfroCubaWeb

Without Masks: Contemporary Afro-Cuban Art: South Africa and Canada, includes some of the same artists and related themes

With regard to the year of Afro descendants... (II part) Cubarte 4/18/2011:  Heriberto Feraudy interviews Rogelio Martinez Fure

When the Antillano Group was created, directed by Rafael Quenedit, its objectives included the search for a new national and Caribbean aesthetical expression; then the so-called specialists in plastic arts came and said that there was no interest in the art we were doing; that now the art was avantgard art; that what we were doing was backwardness and black culture was just black people’s stuff and had no relevance at international level.

Who was in the Group?

There were Lam, Julio Le Riverand, José Luciano Franco, Sergio Viter, Eugenio Hernández Espinosa, Ramón Haití, outstanding figures of plastic arts, theater, historic research and music, almost all of them. It was an important movement.

In what year did that happen?

It was from 1978 on. We made a lot of exhibits that were attacked too. The name of the group was Antillano to show our spirit in the Caribbean, the Caribbean wasn’t so much assumed at that time. There is an interview in the Gaceta de Cuba Magazine that you should consult; Nancy Morejón and me interviewed Alfred Melón, a professor at the Sorbona, specialized in Nicolás Guillén’s work.

=================================================================================================

A PROPÓSITO DEL AÑO DE LOS AFRODESCENDIENTES (I y II) 4/2/2011 UNEAC: Entrevista de Heriberto Feraudy con Rogelio Martinez Fure

Cuando se creó el Grupo Antillano que dirigió Rafael Quenedit, tenía entre sus objetivos la búsqueda de una nueva expresión estética nacional y caribeña, entonces aparecieron los supuestos especialistas en artes plásticas diciendo que ese arte no interesaba, que ahora el arte era de vanguardia, que eso era atraso, que lo referido al africanismo y a la negritud eran cosas de negros, y no tenían ninguna importancia a nivel internacional.

¿Quienes lo integraron?

Ahí estaban Lam, Julio Le Riverand, José Luciano Franco, Sergio Vitier, Eugenio Hernández Espinosa, Ramón Haití, casi todos grandes figuras de las artes plásticas, el teatro, la investigación histórica, la música. Era un movimiento importante.

¿En qué año fue eso?

A partir del 78. Hicimos muchas exposiciones que también fueron bombardeadas. Se llamaba Antillano, para que se viera el espíritu nuestro del Caribe, en esa época no se asumía mucho el Caribe. Hay una entrevista que debes consultar en la Gaceta de Cuba, la cual le realizamos Nancy Morejón y yo a Alfred Melón, profesor de la Sorbona especializado en la obra de Nicolás Guillén.

Members of Grupo Antillano/Miembros del Grupo Antillano

Rafael Queneditt Morales (Director) (Born: Havana, May 28, 1942). Sculpture and engraving
Esteban Guillermo Ayala Ferrer (Born: Havana, September 2, 1929 Died: Havana; July 15, 1995) Graphic and environmental design.
Osvaldo Castilla Romero (Born: Havana, May 28, 1942) Sculpture and gold and silver work.
Manuel Couceiro Prado (Born: Havana, July 29, 1923 Died: Havana; November 8, 1981) Painting.
Herminio Escalona González (Born: Guáimaro, Camagüey, September 16, 1944) Sculpture.
Ever Fonseca Cerviño (Born: Ojo del Agua, Oriente, August 24, 1938) Painting and Engraving.
Ramón Haiti Eduardo (Born: Havana, April 2, 1932) Painting and Sculpture.
Angel Laborde Wilson (Born: Guantánamo, Oriente, December 18, 1942 Painting, drawing, ceramics, humor.
Manuel Mendive Hoyo (Born: Havana, December 15, 1944) Painting, drawing and performance.
Lionel Morales Pérez (Born: Havana, February 11, 1940) Painting and textile design.
Claudina Clara Morera Cabrera (Born: Camagüey, July 21, 1944) Painting.
Miguel de Jesús Ocejo López (Born: Santiago de Cuba, Oriente; January 8, 1940) Painting and Drawing.
Marcos Rogelio Rodríguez Cobas (Born: Santiago de Cuba, Oriente, June 30, 1925) Sculpture, drawing, ceramics and painting.
Arnaldo Tomás Rodríguez Larringa (Born: Havana, August 30, 1948) Painting and Drawing.
Oscar Rodríguez Lasseria (Born: Florida, Camagüey, September 29, 1950) Ceramics, sculpture, drawing.
Pablo Daniel Toscano Mora (Born: Caibarién, Las Villas, November 18, 1940) Painting, Drawing, Cartoons, Graphic design.

-- www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Oscar-Lasseria-Cuban-oil-Onomatopeya-del-silencio-/220523657906 

Grupo Antillano: The Art of Afro-Cuba (English and Spanish Edition) [Paperback]

This bilingual (English and Spanish) book offers the first comprehensive study of Grupo Antillano, an Afro-Cuban visual arts and cultural movement that thrived between 1978 and 1983 and has been written out of Cuban cultural and art history. Grupo Antillano articulated a vision of Cuban culture that privileged the importance of Africa and of Afro-Caribbean influences in the formation of the Cuban nation. In contrast to the official characterization of Santeria and other African religious and cultural practices as primitive and retrograde during the 1970s, Grupo Antillano valiantly proclaimed the centrality of African practices in national culture. They viewed Africa and the surrounding Caribbean not as a dead cultural heritage, but as a vibrant, ongoing and vital influence that continued to define what it meant to be Cuban. Some Afro-Cuban intellectuals, such as the noted ethnomusicologist Rogelio Martínez Furé, who was a collaborator of the group, even proclaimed that a "new," authentic Cuban art (radical, popular, black) had been born. That is the art that this book seeks to recover and to honor.

Click here for pricing & to order  ==> Amazon.com

Schedule/Programa

DRAPETOMANÍA: GRUPO ANTILLANO AND THE ART OF AFRO-­CUBA, Curated by Alejandro de la Fuente
March 7th – July 18th, 2014 -- The 8th Floor - www.the8thfloor.org, New York     Tuesday – Thursday, 11am – 6pm, Friday, 10 am – 5pm

Drapetomania: Grupo Antillano and the Art of Afro-Cuba, at CDAV, Havana, Cuba  Aug 3 to 31, 2013

Open to the public:
Friday, August 3, 2013, 6:00 pm until August 31, 2013
Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales, Plaza Vieja, Habana Vieja, La Habana, Cuba


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