ArtistsMujercitos • Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara • Lester Álvarez Meno • Katherine Bisquet • Jenny Brito •Raychel Carrión • Julio Llópiz Casal • Benjamin del Castillo • Adrian Curbelo • Italo Exposito • Kiko Faxas • Celia González • Hamlet Lavastida • Camila Lobón • Nelson Jalil SardiñasCuratorsSolveig FontMarilyn Volkman
This exhibition emerges from the current, critical period in Cuba when artists, journalists, and intellectuals have responded to the government’s restrictions on freedom of expression with specific demands. For those artists directly involved in the protest movement, the effect on life over the past year might be encapsulated in one word: obsession.
OBSESSION gathers and involves an entire spectrum of optimism and anxiety that has accompanied the lives of artists in Cuba since 2018, when Decree 349 severely restricted the cultural sphere. Following two years of escalating tensions, on 27 November 2020, more than 300 people assembled at the Cuban Ministry of Culture to reject state violence against artists and demand rights of artistic expression for all. Since then, many artists have all but stopped making work to dedicate themselves to activism, while others have shifted the focus of their artistic practice toward the current crisis.
In some cases, OBSESSION has been the only way to achieve results—an agent of action and a path forward. At the same time, it has been a constant source of anxiety and distress, all but consuming entire aspects of life. For many, the work has become the condition of being faced with continual antagonism by the State. For other Cuban artists working outside the country, their production is in some ways now more inside the context than ever before.
OBSESSION is a state of being, a profile of psychology, an exit to social ostracism. It suggests an entrypoint into the current socio-political context of Cuba without being too far-fetched, ever mindful that OBSESSION implies a certain underlying precarity.
The exhibition has to do with artists’ insistence on telling (the rapporteur), on testifying (the narrative), and on ceaselessly sharing images and information to raise awareness, in all cases, obsessively.
In these times, what are we going to talk about if not obsession,
anxiety, and the most distressing burnouts, they last longer than joys,
they are deeper and more evident in the brief space that we occupy in this world.
– Raychel Carrión
ENTRE is an independently-run project space in Vienna, dedicated to fostering social and political understanding through artistic and discursive events. ENTRE is located in the previous home of Significant Other.
Generously supported by Bundesministerium Kunst, Kultur, öffentlicher Dienst und Sport.