Thursday, June 16, 2011
680 Park Avenue
New York, NY
Map of location
|José Manuel Prieto. Photograph by Raúl M. González.|
In conjunction with Consuelo Castañeda’s For Rent lounge, Cuban born and New York-based author and translator José Manuel Prieto will read from his latest novel Voz humana. Prieto is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship award and has served as a fellow at The New York Public Library Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. In addition, he has taught at Princeton and Cornell University.
Prieto is also serving as the guest creative editor of Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas, no. 82 (Cuba Inside and Out, Spring 2011).
About the exhibition: For Rent: Consuelo Castañeda is the first of three exhibitions devoted to mid-career artists from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada to be presented annually from 2011 to 2013 by Americas Society’s Visual Arts program in our gallery.
The concept of For Rent proposes an innovative approach to our exhibition space—located in a landmark building at 680 Park Avenue—that consists of temporarily transferring the use and symbolic value of the gallery to the artists. As a point of departure for the project, Americas Society’s curatorial team proposes a topic to each artist. He or she then develops an in situ installation or environment that will become part of the organization’s institutional history. An expert on site-specific art will serve as an interlocutor to ensure the transparency of the process.
Consuelo Castañeda’s response to this call takes place at the intersection of her personal history as a Cuban artist and émigré, and Americas Society’s exhibition history. The subject proposed to Consuelo Castañeda was the Cold War. Using multiple strategies, Castañeda postulates the existence of an intellectual, social landscape meaningful to diverse groups of people. She asserts the possibility of an art venue as a trans-cultural, social space, and invites the public to lounge and contemplate the galleries and their history. She excavates art history to unearth visual formats and systems that serve her goal of ordering information in such a way that generates knowledge about propaganda generated in both the “east” and “west”.
This exhibition includes a retrospective. The artist’s career is described through the reproduction of her work in wallpaper, arranged in light of her cross-disciplinary practice that began and flourished in the academic setting of post-revolutionary Cuba and evolved in Diaspora during her time in Mexico and now Miami. A radical curatorial intervention informs this project: it occurs as an invitation to Scottish filmmakers David Harding and Ross Birrell to present their twin screen installation Guantanamera at the exhibition’s center. Through arrangements of signs, branded symbols, and iconic cultural forms, Castañeda and her colleagues reframe the modes by which these images circulate and assume meaning in free-market and communist systems.
The interlocutor working on this project alongside Castañeda is Yasmeen Siddiqui in collaboration with Gabriela Rangel.
Americas Society is part of ¡Sí Cuba! Festival, a New York celebration of Cuban arts & culture. For the complete line-up of ¡Sí Cuba! Festival events around the city, please visit SiCuba.org.
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The exhibition For Rent: Consuelo Castañeda and related public programs are made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency, and by a grant from The Christopher Reynolds Foundation, Inc. Americas Society’s Visual Arts program is also supported by Sharon Schultz Simpson and in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council. In-kind support graciously provided by Glasgow School of Art.