Notes on Amilkar Feria Flores of the collective exhibition / POST-IT / 6 / Galleries Galiano and Collage Havana
POST-IT / 6
Collective / Galleries Galiano and Collage Havana
In recent years, some official institutions have revitalized the empowerment of visual artists through events such as this one. This is Post-it, in its sixth edition. I regret that I am not very well informed as to its origin, nor whether the English language title responds to the sponsorship of a foreign institution whose protocol is resolved in that language. So I wouldn't want to confuse it with that tendency among Cuban artists to title some of their exhibitions and works in English, perhaps because it seems strange, distant, exoteric and less direct to them, in which case it would denote a tremendous lack of imagination; or perhaps because the power of anglophone synthesis seduces them, or they try to subliminally guarantee the proposal and sale in any possible market? In any case, being a veiled mechanism of cultural subordination, in which the most current sources of inspiration (aesthetic and commercial) are found in the English-speaking international markets, it could be the one who motivates them to conceptualize and name their creative processes with that other grammar (note that the same phenomenon is very infrequent in other language variants, even Western).
It is undeniable the sponsorship that Cuban culture, in this case visuality, has had on the part of the State in the last sixty years. It has given rise to numerous conceptual and aesthetic reforms that, naturally, have repeatedly skipped the ideological framework that provided them. The political-social corral that fostered a complacent, decorative art during the first thirty years of this process, has given obligatory space to a form of perception and expression more and more plural. It is obvious that the cultural policy of these times must navigate through much more turbulent waters than during the Cold War, when positions were clearly defined, while at the same time restricted. Now the ambiguity of postures, if there are such, could swindle anyone. The unequal economic and social fragmentation of the planet seems unprecedented, an ideal environment to put your hand in the fishbowl and take out any shiny fish, wherever it comes from. Everything seems to indicate, as part of an entropic pattern tending to homogeneity, that in the end we will all end up speaking the same language.
In the meantime, Post-it manages to promote lesser-known contemporary Cuban art, as does Estudio 21, which with a creative grant stimulates the production and exhibition of the winning project. Post-it, show/contest, involves a large group of visual artists, most of whom I know because I studied at the Instituto Superior de Arte in the ten years I taught there. In the exhibition, the factual solutions are many, with the use of techniques nothing new, but ingeniously resolved to give visual response to the conceptual theses. The extreme versatility of the proposals admitted in this call must respond to the economic complexity that would result from holding several simultaneous events of this type, disaggregated by trends or factions, taking into account budgetary constraints. I think that if there are no categories, stimulating or rewarding one or five of these works could be a little arbitrary. In any way, such a recognition mechanism, although insufficient, continues this long tradition of institutional support, even though the new and expansive forms of promotion in private spaces are part of other exhibition and commercialization schemes.
The large number of artists graduating from fine arts schools and universities need increasing space for exploration, which is often limited for basically economic reasons. Artists become demanding, just as as astronomers would become, when it comes to expanding their professional potentialities. Cuba survives on very few economic items, and the regulatory resorts of its internal administration juggle with what international financial policy and the economic embargo allow. So, boys, without taking off your yarey hat, win your contest, then start for the private galleries and guapeen as you can, that the mambo is going to rise in revolutions. Don't think you're at too much of a disadvantage compared to other art graduates in the world, where being an artist is like a black hole in the family and social economic fabric, unless you hit the nail on the head at the right time. How should I say: Post-it / six, or six?
Text and photos: Amilkar Feria Flores
Palatino Entropic Observatory / November 2, 2019, 9:30am