April 12 through July 14, 2011


René Peña, Black Marat, 2009.

The 8th Floor is pleased to announce Queloides: Race and Racism in Cuban Contemporary Art, an exhibition protesting the resurgence of racism in Cuba. This exhibition is part of a citywide festival of Cuban art and culture called Sí Cuba!.

The thirteen artists featured in Queloides—Pedro Álvarez, Manuel Arenas, Belkis Ayón, María Magdelena Campos-Pons, Roberto Diago, Alexis Esquivel, Armando Mariño, René Peña, Marta María Pérez Bravo, Roberto Diago, Doulgas Pérez, Elio Rodriguez, Meira Marrero, and José Toirac—offer a revisionist, critical reading of the history of Cuba that highlights the contributions of the Africans and their descendants towards the formation of the Americas in general, and the Cuban nation in particular.

The concept of Queloides has evolved since it was shown at the Wifredo Lam Center for Contemporary Art in Cuba and most recently at Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh, however, it builds on an ongoing project that began in Havana in 1997. Started by a group of artists and intellectuals, the project is a statement by a generation exposing increasingly racist attitudes in a society that maintains racial equality as part of the official discourse. The current iteration, which is curated by Alejandro de la Fuente and Elio Rodriguez, is a collaborative project between Mattress Factory and the University of Pittsburgh’s Center of Latin American Studies.

The 8th Floor welcomes this exhibit to the New York metro area, home to the second largest Cuban population living off the island.

Queloides has been exhibited at the Centro de Cultura Contemporánea Wifredo Lam (Havana, April 16 – May 31, 2010) and at Mattress Factory (Pittsburgh, October 15, 2010 – February 27, 2011).

Press Release 

Queloides Project Website 

Queloides: Race and Racism in Cuban Contemporary Art was made possible by generous support from the Christopher Reynolds Foundation, Inc., Atlantic Philanthropies, Ford Foundation, Lambent Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Humanities Council, The Pittsburgh Foundation, and the University of Pittsburgh’s CRDF, CLAS, UCIS, Humanities Center, World History Center and the Dean of Arts and Sciences.