All That You Have Is Your Soul
FACTION Art Projects present their inaugural exhibition
Written by Daen Palma Huse
FACTION Art Projects present their inaugural exhibition, All That You Have Is Your Soul, a group show of 17 artists, all of whom are tied together by their responses to building identity within a foreign land. The exhibition uses the link of heritage between the artists to present artworks that celebrate difference in identity.
Artists from disparate generations and with diverse histories come together to create a community through the narratives of their art. All That You Have Is Your Soul presents a microcosm of the wider global community, one that attempts autonomy from social constraints and looks beyond the boundaries of borders and political divisions to focus and celebrate the individuality of the human soul.
Each artist in the show has some relationship to Cuba, some island-born emigres, some with careers developed in Cuba and others with more distant descendance. This starting point, a key point of identity for some, but not for others, offers a tangible bond in their linked roots, but the overriding premise is that as a group they mean to redefine themselves within their unique circumstance.
Exhibitions on Cuban art thus far have tended to establish borders and define their subject through polarization: generations, inside/outside, national/foreign, made in the Island versus created elsewhere. In a world of fusing boundaries and erased frontiers, is there a need to be defined by these terms? The claim of “Cubanidad” for contemporary art has become in most of the cases an artificial construction that complies with commercial, institutional or political interests.
All That You Have Is Your Soul on the contrary, invites participants to express their own opinions on what it means, fundamentally to be an artist. The struggle of being of an artist, regardless of background, is visible in the physical manifestations of their practice. Inevitably, each perspective is different, and it is only through this that we can truly begin to comprehend the complexity of human creativity.
Notable artists include Ernesto Pujol (Havana, Cuba 1957), a site-specific performance artist, social choreographer, and educator with an interdisciplinary practice, Alejandro Aguilera (Holguin, Cuba 1964) who creates abstract work with strong references to his recent memories of Cuba, Anthony Goicolea (Atlanta, Georgia 1971) a multidisciplinary artist who draws on themes from personal history and identity, to cultural tradition, alienation and displacement, Maria Magdalena Campos Pons (La Vega, Cuba 1959) with autobiographical work investigating themes of history, memory, gender and religion and how they inform identity and Juana Valdes (Pinar Del Rio, Cuba 1963) whose work explores current migration processes and critiques race, gender, and mobility.
A central theme for the show is the celebration of diversity. The artists involved are of a variety of ages, genders, sexualities and races. The location of Harlem, New York is significant as a place that is thriving with a culturally diverse community. Its rich mix of people make it a platform from which to embrace difference, without preconceived notions of race and culture. The show does not present the artificially conceptualized "national art". The artists here reunited do belong in a certain kind of nation, but it is an expanded and infinite one; the contemporary nation of the Art World.
Alejandro Aguilera, Anthony Goicolea, Armando Mariño, Ariel Cabrera Montejo, Elsa Mora, Enrique De Molina, Ernesto Pujol, Geandy Pavon, Jairo Alfonso, Juan Carlos Quintana, Juan Miguel Pozo, Juana Valdes Maria Magdalena Campos Pons, Marc Dennis, Maritza Molina, Marta Maria Perez, Pavel Acosta, Quisqueya Henriquez
The exhibition runs from 1 February to 10 March 2018 at Gallery 8 New York 2602 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, NY 10030