Venue: ICI Berlin, Haus 8, Christinenstraße 18-19, 10119 Berlin
Five of the videos in Coco Fusco's exhibition Tomorrow, I Will Become an Island at KW were shot in Cuba, where the artist has been collaborating with local artists on a series of projects for over thirty years. The videos in the exhibition address the tension between civil engagement and the Cuban state. Together with Coco Fusco, Cuban artist and former political prisoner Hamlet Lavastida and Cuban poet and essayist Antonio José Ponte will discuss Fusco's work and the current state of artistic activism in relation to cultural politics in Cuba today.
Hamlet Lavastida is a Cuban artist who lives in Berlin. He studied painting at the San Alejandro Academy of Arts and the University of the Arts (ISA) in Havana. Lavastida reinterprets the role of political rhetoric and iconography in Cuban public culture. He focuses on the way Cuban propaganda shapes and distorts history. Through his videos, collages, drawings and public art, he explores the visualization of state ideology. Lavastida's works have been shown at Documenta 15 (Kassel, Germany), the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid), Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin), the Center for Contemporary Art Łaźnia (Gdansk) and the Center for Contemporary Art, Zamek Ujazdowski (Warsaw).
Antonio José Ponte was born in 1964 in Matanzas, Cuba. He first worked as a hydraulics engineer and then as a literature professor, screenwriter and author. He is deputy director of the online daily newspaper Diario de Cuba, which was founded in Madrid in 2009. His published works include the essays Un seguidor de Montaigne mira La Habana (1995), Las comidas profundas (1997), El libro perdido de los origenistas (2004), Villa Marista en plata (2010) and La lengua suelta y Diccionario de la lengua suelta (2021), the short stories Cuentos de todas partes del Imperio (2000) and Un arte de hacer ruinas y otros cuentos (2005), a volume of poetry entitled Asiento en las ruinas (2005) and the two novels Contrabando de sombras (2002) and La fiesta vigilada (2007).
Coco Fusco is an interdisciplinary artist and author. She has received numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, a Latinx Art Award, a Fulbright Scholarship and a Herb Alpert Award in the Arts. Fusco's performances and videos have been shown at the 56th Venice Biennale, Frieze Special Projects, Basel Unlimited, three Whitney Biennials (2022, 2008 and 1993) and several other international exhibitions. Her works are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Walker Art Center, the Centre Pompidou, the Imperial War Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona. She is the author of Dangerous Moves: Performance and Politics in Cuba (2015), English is Broken Here: Notes on Cultural Fusion in the Americas (1995), The Bodies That Were Not Ours (2001) and A Field Guide for Female Interrogators (2008). She is a professor of art at The Cooper Union.
Registration via https://www.ici-berlin.org/events/acting-out/