/ 1 September, 2017

Art works as a Moebius ring, in a de-territorialized manner, virtual, with fluctuations between public and private spaces, proper and common ones, subjective and objective, as spiral band that boosts the hypertext dialectical operation.

In Glauber Ballestero’s work this process of splitting into two occurs. The image stops being useful in its context and acquires rhizomatous effects which permits it to be an invention having a critical voice in reality. In his most recent personal exhibit, Conceptium Saliara, held at the Galería Villa Manuela, Glauber (La Habana, 1977) builds a fictitious history but with distinctive parallels and hidden references to the current political and social narration. (…)


Experience is talking on the advent of a new animal species called Saliara and the myth surrounding it. This being is apparently perfect. The exhibition covered three moments and showed an evolutionary trip, since the formation of the first cell up to the peak of this entity in its environment. It also comprised a book with its stories, concepts, images related to them, color patterns with special pigments, emblems, banners, eggs, the altered molecular composition of oxygen, organisms in larva state, DNA structures, etc. It is not by chance that the first piece you found in the salon was the cell and the last one a video representing Saliara settling in that sort of limbo to be inhabited. CONCEPTIUM SALIARA is the interpretation I give to this fact.

To what extent is it relevant to make the created story correspond to the visual result that is displayed? Do you consider that the uncertainty generated by this possible dichotomy is a sensitive experience coherent with the work itself?

Absolutely, the public that consumes my work needs more information to be able to relate the plots to the works. I do not consider it as a constraint, it is another way to make art. I also strive to make the pieces have autonomy. I am interested in both the spectator that only enjoys the visual part as in that who seek out the stories that gradually unfold, trying to go deeper into the conceptual. There is room for both. I am not obsessed with the way the public reads my statement, whether it is rigid or if they create other ideas, it is fantastic. My motto is: no matter whatever it is, you will know what it is. Uncertainty or ambiguity is something that is always implicit, I do not like to make everything evident.

Would you tell us a little about your relation to photography and how the technical scaffolding is also a manifest part of the concept?

In my case the media are fundamental when I am turning an idea into something concrete. Sometimes I try to reach a point that is halfway between one and the other. The selection is not at random, the media are used to dimension the plot of the project. In CONCEPTIUM SALIARA I visualized the experience with works that could be either paintings or photographs, difficult to classify in this sense. But it was obvious that the images to be used should be representative of those concepts expressed in the book, and for this purpose photography was essential. I am interested in the image itself for its iconography, for what it shows, and besides for the extent of artificiality that the medium offers. When I refer to representation, I mean that when I start conceiving them, it is like filling up a film or TV studio set, from outside they are perfect oils-on-canvas, from inside, they are impressions of those paintings. This does not mean that I conceive my exhibitions as on-stage scenes, rather that besides, I transform that artificiality into something sublime, unique. (…)

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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