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Jan 212022
 

by Yocari De Los Santos

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Deeply intense, encapsulating in vigor, and pertinently powerful are the ways that I would describe Afro-Latinx, Cuban artist Carlos Martiel’s Monumento II (2021), a performance commissioned by the Guggenheim’s Latin American Circle and organized by curators Pablo León de la Barra and Geaninne Gutiérrez-Guimarães. On November 10, 2021, with a stern face, immobile, handcuffed, and nude, Martiel stood atop a 50-inch-tall pedestal in the center of the museum’s rotunda, temporarily becoming a monument to the historical violence and racism inflicted upon communities of color in the United States.

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Martiel’s practice involves placing himself under extended periods of duress to shine light on how centuries of oppression has shaped the lived experiences of migrant, Latinx, Black, Native American, and other groups that are considered minorities. Early in his career, his work concentrated on the lived experiences of Black and immigrant populations in Cuba, but his focused has since broadened to include the United States, where he has lived since 2013.

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“No documentation can describe the limitations and discomfort that affects the body during an actual performance,” Martiel said several days after his activation at the Guggenheim. “In the case of Monumento II, the situation was quite uncomfortable because the whole time, while standing on the pedestal, I was in an internal struggle to maintain my balance and endure the back pain that began to form from being handcuffed. During the performance, I tried to keep myself as upright as possible and make the least number of involuntary movements so as not to take away the solemn and ceremonial character of the work.”

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(more info here)

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The Guggenheim Blog

Oct 252021
 

November 10, 2021, 6–8 pm EST
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

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Cuban artist Carlos Martiel creates installation and performance works where his lone body undergoes ritualistic acts, pain, and extreme physical stress. While his socially engaged work challenges systems of violence, displacement, and immigration, the artist’s body under duress functions as a conduit for the histories and lived experiences of the Black body. These projects act as a commentary on oppressive and racist power structures, cultural hegemony, and global geopolitics.

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Martiel’s latest work, Monumento II (Monument II, 2021), is a site-specific corporeal installation that makes visible the artist’s concerns with invisible power structures. This work follows Monumento I (2021), which featured Martiel’s blood-covered nude body as a temporary monument representing historically discriminated, oppressed, and excluded minorities in the United States. In this new presentation, Martiel will once again use his nude body while remaining handcuffed atop a tall pedestal in the Guggenheim Museum’s rotunda. Evoking a living sculpture, he will endure this fixed position in silence for several hours as a form of activism and physical resistance against the abuses of power that affect marginalized communities of color. Through the duration of Monumento II, which will be presented during a special one-night event, visitors will be able to view the performance from multiple perspectives around the museum’s ascending ramp. This project has been commissioned by the Guggenheim’s Latin American Circle and is organized by Pablo León de la Barra, Curator at Large, Latin America, and Geaninne Gutiérrez-Guimarães, Associate Curator, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, New York.

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(more info here)

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Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum | 1071 5th Ave, New York, NY 10128, USA

Oct 212021
 

El Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Quito presenta la inauguración de la exposición: “RAÍZ”, la misma que se llevará a cabo el sábado 23 de octubre de 2021, a las 15:30, en el patio cubierto del Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Quito.

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La exposición, curada por Edu Carrera Rivadeneira y Jorge Sánchez, reúne el trabajo de 22 artistas contemporáneos y colectivos artísticos de Los Andes, El Caribe, Centroamérica, Asia, Europa y Estados Unidos y explora las formas en las que las nociones de corporeidad, territorio y naturaleza, abordadas desde el arte contemporáneo.

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Como parte de la exposición, se presentan experiencias que inducen al público a desmantelar las estructuras de poder que heredamos de la colonia y la modernidad, y a revisar críticamente nuestros pasados coloniales. De esta manera, “RAÍZ” se articula en tres constelaciones temáticas: Desplazamientos del territorio; los saberes del cuerpo y la carne; y jardines salvajes, con obras producidas desde 1998 al 2021.

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La exhibición forma parte de “Dispossessions in the Americas: The Extraction of Bodies, Land, and Heritage from La Conquista to the Present”; que a su vez forma parte de “Just Futures”, subvenciones otorgadas a equipos multidisciplinarios comprometidos con la justicia racial y la igualdad social, un programa de la University of Pennsylvania y The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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Artistas participantes: Karina Aguilera Skvirsky (Ecuador /USA); Felipe Baeza (México / USA); Tania Bruguera (Cuba); Saskia Calderón (Ecuador); Sebastián Calfuqueo (Chile); Carolina Caycedo (Inglaterra / Colombia); Gian Cruz (Filipinas / España); Colectivo Ayllu (Migrantes transgresores del Reino de España); Comunidad Catrileo+Carrión (Chile/USA); Frau Diamanda (Perú); Arisleyda Dilone (República Dominicana); Lucía Egaña (Chile/ España) y Julia Salgueiro (Brasil/ España); Camilo Godoy (Colombia / USA); Regina Jose Galindo, (Guatemala); Kasumi Iwama (Japón/ Ecuador); Las Nietas de Nonó (Puerto Rico); José Luis Macas (Ecuador); Carlos Martiel (Cuba/ USA); Joiri Minaya (República Dominicana/ USA); Lizette Nin (República Dominicana/ España); Daniela Ortíz (Perú) y Óscar Santillán (Ecuador/ Holanda).

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(más info aquí)

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Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Quito | Montevideo y Luis Dávila, Montevideo, Quito, Ecuador.

Oct 202021
 
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The godmother of performance art guest-edits the Document section of our new issue, devoting its pages to the performance artists of the future – all of whom have learnt from her processes and drawn from her legacy.

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Performance artist Carlos Martiel uses his body to address the lived experience of the Black male body. Born in Cuba, where he graduated from the San Alejandro National Academy of Fine Arts, he now splits his time between New York and Havana. Here, he chose to have the following interview, first published in Hypermedia magazine, translated into English. His interviewer is the Cuban-American artist, writer and curator Coco Fusco, who has also used her body to confront racial representation and colonial legacies. Together, the artists talk about the origins of Martiel’s family, his interest in blood as an expressive material, and his sculptural focus in performance.

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(more info here)

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Another Magazine

Oct 142021
 

14 – 17 October, 2021 | booth S9

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Bubble’n’Squeak presents Isabelle D, Carlos Martiel, Themba Khumalo.

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(more info here)

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Somerset House | Strand, London WC2R 1LA, UK.

Sep 282021
 


CARLOS MARTIEL
Interview by Tyler Akers for GAYLETTER
Portraits by Renee Cox

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With his body at the center of his durational performances, Martiel pushes his own limits while also calling attention to deplorable histories.

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Perhaps we should start at the beginning; could you speak a little bit about what it was like coming up in Cuba? When did you begin performing? I started working in performance in 2007. I remember that back in the day I was studying goldsmithing at the San Alejandro Art Academy, and alongside my jewelry work, I was also making unconventional drawings. I say unconventional because the materials I was using to make them were not traditional, like oil or acrylic paint, or even using a canvas. I was using different pigments, such as iron oxide diluted in vinegar, coal, beeswax, and blood. And it was the use of my own blood, specifically, which catapulted me to working with my own body. To extract my blood and make drawings, I had to go to public clinics and ask the nurses on duty to perform a phlebotomy on me. At first they agreed to do it, but as I started coming to the clinic more often, they began to either decrease the amount of blood extracted or refuse to do it altogether. This caused a great deal of frustration, since I couldn’t materialize the type of work I wished to make. That’s when I had the idea of using my body as an object and a subject of my conceptual interests, without having to depend on a third party. This is how I came to realize my first performance.

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(more info here)

Jul 132021
 

By Siddhartha Mitter

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Two major foundations have joined forces to make unrestricted cash grants to artists of Latin American or Caribbean descent born or living in the United States.

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The venture, the Latinx Artist Fellowships, is backed by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Ford Foundation, and aims to redress imbalances in national funding patterns while highlighting the range of these artists’ work and its cultural contribution.

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The first 15 fellows, announced Monday, will each receive $50,000. Over five years, 75 artists will receive $3.75 million, with further support planned for museums and academic projects.

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The fellows include artists at different stages in their career, from the 84-year-old Celia Álvarez Muñoz to established figures like Coco Fusco and Elia Alba, midcareer artists like Carolina Caycedo and rafa esparza, and younger artists like Carlos Martiel.

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(more info here)

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The New York Times

Jul 122021
 

Supporting the most compelling Latinx artists working in the US today

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Latinx artists—people of Latin American or Caribbean descent who live and work in the US—have made significant and vital contributions to American culture. Yet these artists have lacked visibility and received little of the philanthropic or institutional support necessary to secure their place in the story of American art. Designed to address this systemic and longstanding lack of support, the Latinx Artist Fellowship will award $50,000 each to a multigenerational cohort of 15 Latinx visual artists each year for an initial commitment of five years. Administered by the US Latinx Art Forum in collaboration with the New York Foundation for the Arts and supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Ford Foundation, this award is the first significant prize of its kind and celebrates the plurality and diversity of Latinx artists and aesthetics.

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(more info here)

May 262021
 
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Do you remember the last time you experienced a live, in-person performance? Neither can we. This is why we are so excited to open our doors to the public for the first in-person presentation by the Museum in over two years with performance artist Carlos Martiel’s durational performance, Pink Death on June 2nd, 6-8 pm (EDT).

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Building on Cuban and international histories, Martiel’s artistic repertoire offers visceral political critiques on social tensions while both embodying and challenging commonly perceived limitations. The performance will gesture toward the vulnerabilities of Black and Latinx LGBTQ people in HIV/AIDs discourse where structural stigmatization, systematic racism, poverty and lack of access to adequate healthcare continue to adversely weigh down marginalized communities who are immensely affected by such inequities. Martiel’s point of departure is the history of the pink triangle, originating in Nazi Germany as an inverted triangle of pink cloth, which was used to identify homosexuals in concentration camps.

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Decades later, during the AIDS pandemic of the 1980s in the United States, the pink triangle was reappropriated in a vertical position as a symbol of resistance and solidarity, at a time when people living with HIV/AIDS were met with silence and indifference by institutions worldwide. Pink Death inherently triggers a visual reflection in the context of the current global COVID19 pandemic on the violences still experienced today by gay, queer Black, and Latinx people living with HIV/AIDs in the United States and the global south.

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This performance is guest curated by Kevin Q. Ewing.

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Carlos Martiel (b. 1989, Havana) lives and works in NY. Martiel’s works have been shown in the biennials of Venice, Sharjah, and Vancouver; at the Stedelijk Museum, Walker Art Center, Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, MOLAA, Frost Art Museum, and the National Museum of Fine Arts of Havana, and elsewhere. His works are included in the collections of the Guggenheim Museum; Museu de Arte do Rio, and the PAMM, among others.

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(more info here)

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Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art | 26 Wooster St, New York, NY 10013

Apr 172021
 

por Coco Fusco para Hypermedia Magazine

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Carlos Martiel ha creado algunos de los performances más impactantes jamás realizadas por un artista cubano. A lo largo de los últimos quince años, ha transformado su cuerpo en un símbolo de sujeción, supervivencia y resistencia colectiva, con actuaciones memorables que evocan las historias y experiencias de los marginados y desplazados.

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Conocí el trabajo de Carlos Martiel a través de mi querida amiga y colega Sandra Ceballos. Me impresionó la crudeza de sus imágenes: sus brazos extendidos sangrando, su cabeza bajo la bota de un soldado, sus párpados cubiertos de excrementos. Parecía que se cortaba a sí mismo, se marcaba y sometía su carne al estrés sin pensarlo dos veces.

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Cuando estaba preparando el libro que escribí sobre el arte del performance y su relación con la arena política en Cuba, sabía que tenía que incluir una discusión sobre Hijo pródigo, el performance en el que Martiel perfora su propio pecho con las medallas revolucionarias de su padre, en un comentario inolvidable sobre el costo personal del voluntariado revolucionario.

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Desde su salida de Cuba en 2012, Martiel ha ampliado sus referencias históricas para abordar sus experiencias en América Latina, Europa y Estados Unidos. Ha tomado las tendencias masoquistas del arte corporal de los años 70 y ha refundido esos gestos como alegorías políticas sobre la condición social de los cuerpos negros en toda la diáspora africana, evocando historias de esclavitud, subyugación y desterritorialización.

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En la siguiente entrevista, hablamos de los orígenes de su familia, de su experiencia en Cuba con la educación artística, de su interés por la sangre como material expresivo, y de su enfoque escultórico del performance.

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(más info aquí)