The tasty fractures of Loft Havana

/ 12 June, 2015

Ram Rom Run exhibition has inaugurated the Biennale without having intended to function as such. And it is inserted directly in the interests of this event because, understood as curatorial project, this sample has presented art and rituals as one of the least pretentious and most spontaneous experiences of the Twelfth Biennial of Havana. Occupying Loft Havana – site located in Oficios, No. 402, between Luz and Acosta Streets, in Old Havana- to exhibit pieces aesthetic and commercially consummated and involve members of the community with artistic processes is a nod to the utopia of art committed to social welfare; questionings that make it clear that it is not the task of art to be placed at the level of social life, or welding its multiple fractures, on the contrary, its purpose is to relieve the traffic of everyday life and ennoble the look; fractures, and thick cracks.

Some spectators could be alarmed because the residents of Loft Havana in and out of their homes in full artistic display, or them to be on their balconies looking around on what happens in the neighborhood. Such a level of coexistence with products of diverse artistic nature is disturbing, first because it indicates enjoyment and acceptance of knowledge in these works guarded by those who “does not like” or appreciate the art – the other cultural type of our own sociological context; and secondly because it reaffirms once again its universal validity. If Mohammed does not go to the mountain…

But we’re not talking about another attempt to approach life to art. We’ve had enough of that already. The exhibition curated by Elvia Rosa Castro is installed in the middle of a context of social interaction, highlighting with its gesture the undeniable independence between these two factors. Every man for himself: the spaces for collective use have been occupied, more; the private ones were respected without pretension to change the status quo prevailing in the community. The art, on one hand, influencing the conception of space, in the use of the open space of the interaction, in the possibilities of immediate enjoyment; and life, on the other, with its hectic flow. The members of the community then follow their usual pace, but stop the look from time to time to peer into the intruder presented, on the one who, as an anthropologist, returns the gesture. Power relations have been disrupted in Loft Havana.

Moreover, the pieces collected in this space dialogue about the versatility and speed of the processes associated with memory: selectivity, ambivalence, multiplicity and emotion. And it’s funny how they work in the emplacement context as if belonging to it. Elizabet Cerviño´s pendants, as sheets of a neighbor with no space to hang their clothes in the collective space; the altarpiece of Jose Mesias, abandoned monument to the memory; the disloyal machetes sheathed in laces by Plastic Guajiras or the disengaged steeple by Dayana Trigo; all are apothems of our collective history, the one that will remain fresh in the popular wisdom. Far from the grandiloquent speeches of power, our present is framed in the galleries of Loft Havana; loyal chronicle of our times and its adversity. In the end, the dreamer who cursed the contemporary Cuban art by not showing the present takes through Ram Rom Run a bump on his head.


Nina Menocal

20 June, 2015

I would have liked to have seen my name in this article. RAM-ROM-RUN is a proyect designed, payed and curated by me, with Elvia Rosa Castro. I have spent more than 6 months working on all the details of this proyect, editing texts, traveling to Cuba to see the artists and their works, planning the montage, of course always working with my Mexico City and Havana teams.



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