Grupo Antillano and the Art of Afro-Cuba
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."
“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
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.
¿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.
Rafael Queneditt Morales
(Director) (Born: Havana, May 28, 1942). Sculpture and engraving
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.
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