Fairfield University Art Museum Presents Archives of Consciousness: 6 Cuban Artists

Fairfield University Art Museum Presents Archives of Consciousness: 6 Cuban Artists

Manuel Mendive Hoyo, Yesterday Afternoon (Ayer Por la Tarde), 2018 Acrylic on canvas Collection of Steven and Terry Certilman.

The Fairfield University Art Museum announces an art exhibition featuring works by internationally renowned, legendary artists of Cuba, on view January 24 through May 15, 2020.

Fairfield University Art Museum announces the upcoming exhibition Archives of Consciousness: 6 Cuban Artists, opening January 24 and closing May 15, 2020. Featuring recent works by internationally renowned artists of Cuba’s post-Soviet era, this exhibit invites us to witness the struggles and experiences of life in Cuba’s revolutionary society.

Through images that regularly converge and, at times, conflict, six participating artists question the boundaries of liberation achieved so far, not only in Cuba, but in every modern society, including our own. Their works interrogate how gendered, racial, sexual, religious, commercial, technological and even entrepreneurial mythologies inhabit our identities and influence our destinies.

Featured in the Fairfield University Art Museum’s exhibition are pieces by Roberto Diago, Manuel Mendive, Eduardo Roca (“Choco”), Abel Barroso, Mabel Poblet, and Luis Enrique Camejo. Representing different generations of artists raised in the culture and evolving process of the Cuban Revolution, their works strike a dialogue across decades of memory and the increasingly paradoxical formula of liberation through authoritarian, one-party rule that has defined Cuba since 1959. 

Drawn from the personal collection of Terri and Steven Certilman, the works of these six artists speak to the many lives that Cubans have led and the ways in which disillusionment, pain, isolation, protest, beauty, healing, and the spiritual mind form the documents of a resilient collective consciousness. As a living archive of thoughts and aspirations, this art enables us to reflect on the essences and emotions that make up the contradictions of our lives and explore the strength that comes from challenge and reflection on such contradictions. Curated by historian of Cuba Lillian Guerra and art historian and independent curator Arianne Faber Kolb, Archives of Consciousness offers a timely opportunity to meditate on the lessons derived as much from Cuba’s exceptional political and social history as from its citizens’ will to survive, contest, and endure.

In conjunction with the exhibition, and with the assistance of faculty liaison, Michelle Farrell, PhD, the Fairfield University Art Museum has organized a full roster of public programs:

Thursday, January 23 at 5 p.m.
Opening Night Lecture: Archives of Consciousness: 6 Cuban Artists

Lillian Guerra, PhD, Curator of the Exhibition
Professor, Department of History, University of Florida, Gainesville.

Quick Center, Wien Experimental Theatre


Thursday, January 23 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Opening Reception: Archives of Consciousness: 6 Cuban Artists

Mabel Poblet, a featured artist, will be in attendance. Music by Ariacne Trujillo Durand.

Quick Center Lobby and Walsh Gallery

Friday, February 7 from 1 to 4 p.m.:

  • Panel Discussion: Cuba Today: Internet access, El Paquete, and the New Filmmakers (1 - 2:15 p.m.)
    Facilitated by Michelle Farrell, PhD, with: Javier Labrador Deulofeu, Cuban filmmaker; Yaima Pardo, Cuban filmmaker and internet activist; and Julia Weist, artist. 
  • Coffee break: (2:15 – 2:45)
  • Film Screening – Selection of Cuban Short Films (2:45-4:00 p.m.) Followed by a roundtable conversation in the DiMenna-Nyselius Library, Multimedia Room.


Thursday, February 13 at 5 p.m.

Film Screening: Wheel of Life (Patchwork Films, 2015, running time 15 minutes) followed by
Dance Class: Learn the Casino (The Cuban dance that launched the salsa) with instructor Victoria Harel.

Quick Center, Wien Experimental Theatre


Wednesday, February 26 at 5 p.m.

Lecture: "The Art of Manuel Mendive"*
Barbaro Martinez-Ruiz, PhD., Associate Professor, Department of Art History,
Indiana University

Quick Center, Wien Experimental Theatre


Thursday, April 2 at 5 p.m.
Lecture: "The Art of Black Mobilization: Afro-Latin American Artists, History and Racial Justice"*
Alejandro de la Fuente, PhD, Robert Woods Bliss Professor of Latin American History and Economics, Professor of African and African American Studies, Harvard University

DiMenna-Nyselius Library, Multimedia Room


Thursday, April 9 at 11 a.m.

Art in Focus: Manuel Mendive Hoyo, Eleguá Feeds Me (Eleguá me alimenta), 1996

Quick Center, Walsh Gallery


Thursday, April 23 at 5 p.m.

Gallery Talk: Collecting Cuban Art, with Steve Certilman

Quick Center, Walsh Gallery


Tuesday, April 28, 7 - 9 p.m.

Drawing Party: Archives of Consciousness: 6 Cuban Artists

Quick Center, Walsh Gallery


*Part of the Edwin L. Weisl, Jr. Lectureships in Art History, funded by the Robert Lehman Foundation


All events and programs are free and open to the public but registration is requested, and strongly encouraged. www.fairfield.edu, or www.fuam.eventbrite.com. For more information visit our bi-lingual exhibition website:https://www.fairfield.edu/museum/cuba/.

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