Mala Lengua  
  Home - Portal | Music - Musica | Authors - Autores | Arts - Artes 
  Site Map - Mapa del Sitio | News - Noticias | Search ACW - Buscar en ACW 
  Mala Lengua

Orlando HernandezOrlando Hernández Pascual

Orlando Hernández is a writer, poet, art critic, art historian, and researcher on Cuban popular cultures and AfroCuban ritual arts in Havana. In 2010, he curated the first Cuban art show in South Africa, "WIthout Masks," which presents themes of AfroCuban culture and issues of race and identity. This exhibit is being shown at other locations, including the Museum of Anthropoloigy in Vancouver, Canada. A graduate in Art History from the University of Havana in 1978, he worked as a curator and researcher in the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes from 1978 to 1989. His essays on art and culture have been published extensively in catalogues, books, and magazines in Cuba and abroad.

As a poet, he has made art books with Cuban artists José Bedia, Julio Girona, Gustavo Acosta, Carlos Garaicoa, Lázaro Saavedra, and Ibrahim Miranda. Hernández is currently researching a book on popular art in the Caribbean, supported by the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development. He is a member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA), Southern Caribbean and the Unión des Escritores y Artistas de Cuba.


- El Ojo del Curador, Parte 2: Más sobre "Cannibal/Carnival: Elio Rodríguez y Douglas Pérez Castro"  6/13/2012 Cuban Art News: se puede ver tambien la pagina de Elio Rodriguez

- El Ojo del Curador, Parte 1: "Cannibal/Carnival: Elio Rodríguez y Douglas Pérez Castro"  6/12/2012 Cuban Art News  

- ‘The art victims of Havana' (2007)

- José Bedia: La obligación de transculturarnos.  6/1/2007 Cubarte Contemporaneo: Por Orlando Hernández

- Meditaciones (más o menos rencorosas) sobre la belleza*  9/6/2006 Criterios: Por Orlando Hernández 

- ‘The importance of being local', in the exhibition catalogue of Cuban artist Alberto Casado (New York: Art in General, 2005)

- ‘Unfaithful readings', 18 short stories based on Carlos Garaicoa´s work included in the publication accompanying Garaicoa's exhibition Capablanca's Real Passion (Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art, 2005)

- ‘The pleasure of the reference', in Art Cuba: The New Generation, edited by Holly Block (New York: Harry Abrams Inc, 2001)


Without masks: Contemporary Afro-Cuban art  6/27/2014 Repeating Islands: "A review of the Cuban art exhibit at the Johannesburg Art Gallery, Joubert Park, in South Africa."

Without Masks  12/15/2013 Art Oncuba Magazine: Number 1, December 2013-february 2014: "regarding a collection of (Afro) Cuban art, by Nahela Hechavarría Pouymiró: An interview with the independent Cuban art critic and essayist Orlando Hernández, curator of Without Masks, The Von Christierson Collection of Contemporary Afro-Cuban Art."

“No debemos encerrar el arte afrocubano en un gueto”  7/8/2010 Cuban Art News: "Entrevista a Orlando Hernández, crítico de arte cubano y curador de “Without Masks: Contemporary Afro-Cuban Art”

“Afro-Cuban Art Cannot Be Confined to a Ghetto” Interview with Orlando Hernández, Cuban art critic and curator of “Without Masks,” first Cuban art show in South Africa  7/8/2010 Cuban Art News 

Cuban mix of sadness and spice comes to city of gold  6/27/2010 Times Live: "A visiting foreign exhibition can be a minefield; Cuban art in South Africa displays the rawness of both cultures, making you realise the common, occasionally explosive grounds we share."

Without masks: Contemporary Afro-Cuban art  6/27/2010 Repeating Islands: "Chris von Christierson, who wrote the catalogue’s foreword, comments on the “imperfect liberation culture” in both the Cuban and South African identity. Armed with this phrase we go and taste what it is about Cuban art that we as South Africans can hold on to."

Art exhibit explores Cuba’s African heritage  5/25/2010 Repeating Islands: "Artists participating in the show will include Belkis Ayán, Manuel Mendive, Bernado Almoguea and René Peña. Ayón, a lithographer, explored Afro-Cuban religion. Her worked combined the myth of Sikan and the traditions of the Abakuá, a men’s secret society. She committed suicide at the age of 32. Mendive, who also emerged from the revolutionary road, has received numerous awards for his work. He has participated in many group and solo art exhibitions in Cuba and Europe. Almoguea is known for painting brightly coloured, politically probing works from his government-owned potato stand. A self-taught photographer, Peña explores the problems of racial and social minorities in his art. His works are part of private collections in Cuba, Italy, the United States, Switzerland, Belgium and Argentina, among other countries. In all, 26 artists will participate in the exhibition, which will show about 80 works. They include the internationally acclaimed artists Joe Bedía, Yoan Capote, Carlos Garaicoa, Armando Mariño, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Elio Rodríguez, Douglas Pérez and Roberto Diago. “The City is proud to be part of such an event that will bring the Cuban touch to our doorstep, and that our citizens will be able to share this wonderful and unique experience,” it said."

Art explores Cuba's heritage  5/24/2010 Joburg: "According to the City, the exhibition will focus on Cuba's African heritage, exploring the two major themes of race and religion within contemporary Cuban society and the practices which thrive today that were brought to the Caribbean island from west and central Africa by slaves. "The exhibition will give South Africans the opportunity to engage with the issues it raises," it said."

'There is more to Africa than its masks'  5/21/2010 Mail & Guardian, South Africa: "Doesn't Cuba pride itself on being a classless society, theoretically at least? In what way is racism an issue in Cuba? Cuba is a society where there is really still a lot of racism, but the issue has been silenced in society. People in power say: "We don't have racism because we are an egalitarian society." But this is not the opinion of many black and mulatto people in Cuba who feel that the issue of race still needs to be discussed. They feel discriminated against by light-skinned Cubans…. It's important to educate the people about our different sources in society. We do not have only Spanish and Indian roots."

Journey of darkness and light  5/21/2010 Mail & Guardian, South Africa: "In 2007 South African-born businessman Chris von Christierson approached Hernández to compose a collection of Cuban art for him. Given carte blanche, Hernández chose to curate this collection according to the theme of Afro-Cuban identity, a subject he felt would be of relevance to the Christiersons, having come from the heel of Africa."

José Bedia: La obligación de transculturarnos.  6/1/2007 Cubarte Contemporaneo: Por Orlando Hernández

Meditaciones (más o menos rencorosas) sobre la belleza*  9/6/2006 Criterios: Por Orlando Hernández 


The art victims of Havana - abstract, Parachute, 125, Montreal, 2007top

Les victimes (havanaises) de l'art
par Orlando Hernandez

Dans le but de réhabiliter les pratiques créatrices havanaises se déroulant hors des lieux artistiques institutionnels, l'auteur en dénonce, dans cet essai, le statut péjoratif inhérent à leur non adhésion à la mondialisation, à leur appartenance à une culture spécifique particulière et locale. Hernandez déplore ainsi l'approbation esthétique du milieu de l'art accordée aux pratiques « contemporaines » aseptisées de toute spécificité culturelle proprement havanaise et en aborde le côté colonisateur, en mettant au banc des accusés les institutions artistiques ainsi que les « experts » du milieu. Il se désole aussi de l'absence de portée critique face à la situation politique cubaine à travers ces pratiques contemporaines, signifiant un art élitiste, éloigné du quotidien, un art désormais international.

The Art Victims of Havana
by Orlando Hernandez

In an effort to rehabilitate art practices in Havana which take place outside institutional artistic spaces, the author of this essay denounces the inferior status inherent in not being a part of globalization and belonging instead to a specific local culture. Hernandez deplores the art world's aesthetic approval of "contemporary" practices which have been sanitized of all cultural specificity, that of the works' genesis in Havana, and addresses the colonial aspect of this mentality, blaming artistic institutions as well as the art world's "experts." He laments the absence of a critical attitude towards the political situation in Cuba in these contemporary practices, resulting in an elitist art that is cut off from daily life and international in nature.



Without Masks: Contemporary Afro-Cuban Art


Contacting AfroCubaWeb

Electronic mail [replace _AT_ with @]

[AfroCubaWeb] [Site Map] [Music] [Arts] [Authors] [News] [Search this site]

Copyright © 1997 AfroCubaWeb, S.A.