DETRÁS DEL MURO (BEHIND THE WALL)
March 7 through July 18, 2014
Two New York-based philanthropic organizations, the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, announce a groundbreaking collaboration with Havana-based, independent curator Juan Delgado Calzadilla of Cuban Arts Project. With a grant from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Rubin Foundation will produce a New York incarnation of the outdoor exhibition Detrás del Muro (Behind the Wall), curated for the 11th Havana Biennial in 2012 by Calzadilla. Installed along the iconic Malecón, Havana’s four-mile seaside esplanade, Detrás consisted of 25 installations and performances. The 8th Floor version of Detrás del Muro will feature original work by 22 Cuban artists, which include sculpture, photography, video and models that allude to the artists’ contributions to the 2012 presentation.
Detrás del Muro celebrates the unprecedented installation that took over Havana’s popular destination and landmark, the Malecón. Ambitious both in size and scope, Detrás del Muro examined the symbolic nature of the sea wall and its situational prominence as a geographic border, protective barrier, convenient passageway and destination unto itself. One of the largest public art projects in Cuba’s history, Detrás del Muro captivated viewers and critics alike for its self-reflective subject matter as well as its accessibility. Many of the installations and interventions involved participation from pedestrians and viewers wandering the Malecón. Detrás highlighted works that played with illusion, many of which were further activated when approached, touched, and explored by the public.
A full color, 218-page book on the original Detrás del Muro as well as a documentary commemorating the original installation will accompany the exhibition. Co-Curated by Juan Delgado Calzadilla, the Cuban Artists Fund’s 2013 Visiting Curator, and Rachel Perera Weingeist, Director of The 8th Floor, Detrás del Muro (Behind the Wall) will open Thursday, September 26th, 2013.
“The highlight of the Havana Biennial, this monumental show represents a community of artists working together to achieve something greater than any one artist could accomplish. Bringing it to New York will further the dialogue and give us an opportunity to reach new audiences.” – Ben Rodriguez-Cubeñas, Rockefeller Brothers Fund
The 8th Floor exhibition, initiated by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation as a way to share the original site-specific Detrás del Muro with an American audience, is enabled by a grant from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Viewers are offered a unique opportunity to see “behind the wall.” The 8th Floor presentation initiates a boundary-crossing dialogue for Cuban artists, who, for the most part, live and work on the island. Aimée García’s 20-meter-long black shawl, Pureza (Purity), crocheted by two women perched along the sea wall as a performance during the 2012 Biennial is featured with a canvas depicting the Malecón’s iconic horizon, embroidered by the artist. Esterio Segura’s inventive Homemade Submarine, a vintage car transformed into an amphibious vehicle then driven along the seaside highway, is represented by an immense canvas plan of the project and a fiberglass model. Possible Chances an installation of large, red, overlapping open doors by Rafael Domenench, through which viewers were encouraged to walk, is presented as a preparatory watercolor as well as a maquette.
The book, Detrás del Muro will launch during a formal event on Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 and includes essays by architect and architectural historian Mario Coyula, art critic Elvia Rosa Castro, and curator Juan Delgado Calzadilla. The documentary film of the same name will accompany the exhibition and further enrich the context of the New York programming.
Detrás del Muro features the work of twenty-two emerging and established Cuban artists including Adonis Flores, Aimée García, Alejandro Gonzales, Alexandre Arrechea, Arlés del Rio, Carlos Martiel, Carlos Montes de Oca, Donis Dayan, Duvier del Dago, Esterio Segura, Florencio Gelabert, Humberto Diaz, Inti Hernandez, Jorge Wellesley, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Marianela Orozco, Rachel Valdes-Camejo, Rafael Domenech, Reynier Leyva Novo, Roberto Fabelo, and Roberto Fabelo Hung.