School of the Museum of Fine Arts Opens 'Dilated Biography: Contemporary Cuban Narratives' Today
Biography is defined as "a written account of another person's life" and "an account in biographical form of an organization, society, theater, animal." Throughout history, artists have strayed from the traditional, linear notion of biography/autobiography to create new narratives in their works. This fall, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (SMFA) will host the exhibition "Dilated Biography: Contemporary Cuban Narratives," today, September 10-October 19, 2013, guest curated by Jorge Fernández Torres. Inspired by Cuban poet and artist Severo Sarduy, whose novel "Gestos" explores the idea that biography usually happens before birth and then expands (or dilates), Fernández Torres will bring together 15 contemporary Cuban artists to examine biography, not as a chronological sequence of events, but rather with an alternative approach to life stories, drawing from personal experiences within Cuba's cultural, social and political constructs.
Cuba has historically been a place of crossroads, formed by a great integration of cultures. Throughout Cuba's rich history, anthropological, political, social and ontological ideas have struggled to maintain a balance within its borders and its people have searched for ways to understand and make connections between these distinct identities. The July 1953 Cuban Revolution generated polarization among its people, but the memories continue to fuel new ideas about cultural identification, family and the evolving biography of this complex nation.
Rather than a defined theme, Fernández Torres has chosen to focus on the coexistence of different memories in "Dilated Biography." "Do not bet on seeing one style, medium, material or process; the focus will be on the individual poetics of each artist," says Fernández Torres. "It would be impossible to delve in to how all the artists-on and off the island-are reflecting on the context of their place within Cuba, so with this exhibition format I simply want to allow the artists to share their experiences and personal stories."
The history of the works on view in "Dilated Biography" is diverse; some are recent productions and others have been exhibited for several years. The 15 participating artists-Alexandre Arrechea, Javier Castro, Felipe Dulzaides, Juan Roberto Diago Durruthy, Diana Fonseca, Luis Gárciga, Luis Gómez, Tony Labat, Dennis Izquierdo, Susana PilarDelahante Matienzo, Reynier Leyva Novo, Tatiana Mesa Pajan, Eduardo Ponjuan, Wilfredo Prieto andGrethell Rasúa-come from different generations and work in a range of media including video, installation and painting. Brought together at SMFA, the exhibition will offer visitors a unique view of Cuban society, culture and art, through the very personal lens of the artists' interpretations of their own histories and biographies.
Monday, September 9, 5-7 pm
School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Tuesday, September 10, 1-2 pm
SMFA Beckwith Lecture: "The Perversion of Classics: The Anarchy of Narrations"
Jorge Fernández Torres discusses the exhibition he curated for the Cuban pavilion At the 2013 Venice Biennale, 55thInternational Art Exhibition. Established in 1978 by Leo and Betty Beckwith (daughter Carol is an alumna), the Beckwith series was created to further SMFA student development by featuring artists and cultural thinkers of national and international stature.