Eugenio Valdes to CIFO

An expectant note

/ 22 July, 2015

The news comes prone to all kinds of reactions. Effective and forceful on the premises of a Biennial context that is not over at all, the specialized and socio-cultural media announce the new director and curator of Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO): Eugenio Valdés Figueroa. He is a Cuban intellectual who in the field of visual arts has set a great precedent; a name that young people heard on the lips of others and we can identify as an admirable figure to all lights.

Critic, curator, educator, researcher, one of the most authoritative voices of the moment on Latin American art. Eugenio Valdes has worked actively for almost thirty years in important cultural institutions, both in his native country and abroad. Professor of the Faculty of Arts and Letters of the University of Havana; curator of Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Center, specializing in African art; member of the curatorial team of the Biennial of Havana between 1990 and 1997; director of art and education at Casa Daros, Daros- Latin America in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and a long list of successful forays into the field of artistic thought.

Touring his career, participation in relevant international events, biennials, conferences, curatorial projects … would be redounding in the information provided by media sites which at this time replicate the news. Our interest lies in the impact it might entail for all his ascension to this position that goes beyond his committed and talkative work with modernity defining our most acting art. The expectation is higher as CIFO has become one of the most lavish sponsor for Latin America. It should be recognized properly its support to dissimilar projects that are specified in formidable samples boasting the collection it has. Such was the case of the exhibition Memorias de Obsolescencia which included a selection of videos and was displayed at the Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Center from September to December 2013. With CIFO present at the 12th edition of the Biennale, it was possible to verify that the dialogue with its representatives –I witnessed some of them- show a turn in regard to our art and its revaluation by the foundation.

At this point, the presence of Eugenio Valdés as the new director and curator is an encouraging possibility, since it lies in his hands the effectiveness with which CIFO to remain organizing and channeling its interests from a platform that contributes to the exchange and strengthening of the network of relationships that must exist to make art. Undoubtedly, the commitment is present, and may be based on the projects that come to fruition thanks to the pioneering vision of its working team.

According to Valdes Figueroa himself: CIFO has so far been a project committed to foster a consistent assessment of Latin American art in recent decades and to promote it internationally. (…) I would like to contribute to the research profile of this formidable collection, supporting the foundation in its purposes of gaining visibility for the art of Latin America, both for its history and modernity. I am pleased to have this opportunity to continue working directly with artists and foster a dynamic platform for their ideas and works.

With this declaration, coherence between the interests of the Foundation and the principles with which the director has worked and announces to redirect and maintain its new status is noted. The decision has been made, all that remains for those who from outside applaud this decision is to continue watching the next steps of CIFO, under the tutelage of Valdes Figueroa.


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Yudinela Ortega Hernández

Yudinela Ortega Hernández

Matanzas, 1990. Bachelor in Art History, Faculty of Arts and Letters, University of Havana, 2013. A curator and art critic. At present she works as a professor of Art Critic in Formación al Cuadrado, an educational platform specialized in visual arts, in Madrid. She regularly writes for national and foreign art magazines. She also independently carries out and collaborates with curatorial projects.



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