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

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

On view January 24 - May 16, 2020 — works by internationally renowned, legendary artists of Cuba will be featured by the Fairfield University Art Museum.

Media Contact: Susan Cipollaro, scipollaro@fairfield.edu, 203-254-4000 x2726


FAIRFIELD, Conn. (June 7, 2019) — The Fairfield University Art Museum announces the upcoming exhibition Archives of Consciousness: 6 Cuban Artists, running January 24 through May 16, 2020. Featuring recent as well as past works by internationally renowned artists of Cuba’s post-Soviet era, this exhibit invites patrons to witness the struggles and experiences of life in Cuba’s revolutionary society. Together, they illuminate the many ways in which artists stand at the forefront of debate, challenge, and critique. 

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Fairfield University Art Museum has organized a full roster of public programs including the Opening Night Lecture and Reception at the Quick Center for the Arts on Thursday, January 23 at 5 p.m. with speaker Lillian Guerra, PhD, curator of the exhibition and professor in the Department of History at the University of Florida, Gainesville; as well as a panel discussion The History of Cuba and Cuban-American Relations and film screening of selected Cuban short films on Friday, February 7, 1-4 p.m. followed by a roundtable conversation: Film in Contemporary Cuba at the DiMenna-Nyselius Library’s Multimedia Room on the campus of Fairfield University. 

This exhibit speaks to the myriad ways in which systems of power exert control over human efforts to create greater equality and mutual understanding. 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. 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 show 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. 

With subtle precision, humor, drama, wit, and spectacle, these artists document the complex feelings and angles from which citizens experienced the Cuban government’s shift from an intransigent commitment to Communist culture and a socialist economy to the now thirty-year period of state-directed capitalism and continuing Castro family rule (1992-2019). 

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. 

Curated by historian of Cuba Dr. Lillian Guerra and art historian Arianne Faber Kolb, PhD, an independent curator, 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.

Full roster of public programs 

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

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

Quick Center, Wien Experimental Theatre


Thursday, January 23, 6-8 p.m.

Opening Reception: Archives of Consciousness: 6 Cuban Artists
Quick Center, Lobby and Walsh Gallery

Friday, February 7, 1-4 p.m.

Panel: The History of Cuba and Cuban-American Relations

Film Screening: Selection of Cuban Live Action Short Films

Followed by A Roundtable Conversation: Film in Contemporary Cuba

DiMenna-Nyselius Library, Multimedia Room


Thursday, February 13, 5 p.m.

Film Screening: Wheel of Life (Patchwork Films, 2015)
Dance Class: Learn the Casino (The Cuban dance that launched the salsa)

Quick Center, Wien Experimental Theatre


February 26, 5 p.m. 
Lecture: The Art of Manuel Mendive 
Barbaro Martinez-Ruiz, Associate Professor, Department of Art History, Indiana University Quick Center for the Arts, Wien Experimental Theatre

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


Thursday, April 2, 5 p.m.
Lecture: The Art of Black Mobilization: Racial Justice and the Visual Arts in Cuba and Latin America
Alejandro de la Fuente, Robert Woods Bliss Professor of Latin American History and Economics, Professor of African and African American Studies, Harvard University

DiMenna-Nyselius Library, Multimedia Room

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


Thursday, April 23, 5 p.m.

Gallery Talk: Collecting Cuban Art, with Steve Certilman

Quick Center, Walsh Gallery


For more information on the Fairfield University Art Museum, please visit their webpage.


Posted On: June 7, 2019

Volume: 51 Number: 102

Fairfield University is a modern, Jesuit Catholic university rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the U.S. and across the globe are pursuing degrees in the University’s five schools. Fairfield embraces a liberal humanistic approach to education, encouraging critical thinking, cultivating free and open inquiry, and fostering ethical and religious values. The University is located on a stunning 200-acre campus on the scenic Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City.