Wings Are Not Needed

Slg collection: Life and Work of Cuban Contemporary Artists

/ 1 March, 2016

In Cuba, as well as in the rest of the world, a great part of visual arts recirculates, almost viciously, as a practice and expression of status, “rewarded” by market economy. Not a few commissioners and art critics build their discourses according to the price of the art product. The arbitrary valuations define, in most cases, the ideo-aesthetic value of the work and the artist, and obviate proposals, probably better, but stripped from hazardous luck. Magazines and books on art have great responsibilities in these topics. The most serious publications protect their name while belittling the purely mercantile aspects as only opinions of value and are more worried with documenting, promoting and exercising criticism.

In Cuba there are very few editorial houses specialized in contemporary visual arts. In national distribution, ArteCubano Ediciones makes a considerable effort to systematize contemporary events, but lives in an eternal delay and a limited budget, so instantaneity dilutes in the long term memory. Later, the digital sites anchored in the cloud are supplying this deficit. However, “the hard copy” is always yearned (…)

Last November one of those books which I only sheltered in my mental spaces was presented. The National Museum of Fine Arts acted was the host of the launching of a monograph dedicated to Eduardo Rubén García. (…) The book cover announces an entirely genuine project: Colección slg (slg Collection). The acronym it bears belongs to who cultivated its original idea, art historian Sergio López García. Everything began in 2014, when López was working on the Table Tennis Art Project, an initiative emerging in Lima in 2010, in which “organizers Carlos Villanueva and Roberto Ascóniga invited a group of acknowledged artists in Spanish America to intervene, with entire freedom, the ping-pong paddles they had supplied”.i López gathered 51 Cuban artists and urged them to collaborate. Each of them left their mark in those ping-pong paddles, as is now happening with the project of the books. Both have been possible thanks to the sponsorship of Galería Enlace Arte Contemporáneo in Lima, Peru, whose staff has trusted Sergio López’s sharpness and called to generate visibility for Cuban art in the international context…

Havana, December 2015

i Words by Sergio López in “¿Ping Pong artístico?” (Artistic Ping Pong) by Toni Piñera. Granma, June 24, 2014.

Claudia Taboada Churchman

Claudia Taboada Churchman

Havana, 1990. Art critic and curator. She currently works in Villa Manuela Gallery. Her texts have been published in ArteCubano, Revolución y Cultura, La Jiribilla, Noticias de ArteCubano, among others. In 2015 she received the Curatorial Award granted by the Center for the Development of Visual Arts for the project Pintura expandida.

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