Exhibtion in Havana - Cuba
Moments of Clarity
by Ismar Cirkinagic (BiH/DK), Levi Orta (CU), Thierry Geoffroy/ COLONEL (Fr/DK) and Lester Alvarez (CU). Curated by Gretel Medina (CU) and Tijana Miskovic (Ex.YU/DK)
A new contemporary art exhibition in Havana, with artworks by artists from Cuban and Denmark, reflecting on the notion of MOMENTS OF CLARITY.
Last month we have been busy producing an art exhibition in Havana at one of the best contemporary art spaces in Cuba: El Centro de Dessarrollo (Plaza Vieja). The exhibition presented artworks of two Cuban artists (Levi Orta and Lester Alvarez) and two artists from Denmark (Bosnian artist Ismar Cirkinagic and French artist Thierry Geoffroy).

The curators Tijana Miskovic and Gretel Medina decided to entitle the show "Moments of Clarity" inviting the artists to reflect on the notion of clarity as a starting point and present different interpretations of the notion of clarity as a mobilizer of human experience, the one in which we can glimpse the capacity for renewal, progress, and possible change.

"The moment of clarity is an instant of a personal experience of a vision, of a symbolic eureka, but also of a "not me in front of the others". But, at the same time, light and clarity can bring blindness, preventing the clear guiding vision and direction." Says Gretel Medina, curator of Centro de Desarrollo.

The curator, Tijana Miskovic adds, "The moments of clarity would always be connected to light – be it light that flows easily and freely, creating an indefinite transparency, or light that brings precise contours and clear perception. Light, concretely or metaphorically, and on a personal, socio-political or historical level, will always be the source of visions, discoveries, or changes of perspectives we call "moments of clarity".

The invited artists have very different artistic expressions and conceptual takes, so the final result was a reach diverse exhibition.

Artwork by Thierry Geoffroy (photo: Thierry Geoffroy)
Thierry Geoffroy / COLONEL poses a direct question in one of his works "How to provoke the moment of clarity?" which is rather precisely reflecting the artist's attempt to stimulate awareness through art. As always, his work focuses on training of the awareness, making people question the world in which they live and by that, hopefully, avoiding the state of apathy. He also presents cartons with simple drawings combined with textual expressions, which often include Jeu-de mot, give an impression about the creative process, thought, terminology or ideas on subject in question. For example he playes with the word clarity, opposing it to the word realite, by constructing a new word in French "clarealité" (clareality).The cartons are also "colored" with personal feelings, giving us small openings to artist's universe.
Artwork by Levi Orta
Levi Orta , known for his subtle interpretation of social realities, invited his mother, Niurka Mendoza, to collaborate in a contemporary art project, based on the belief that her professional biography is a good tool for studying our understand of the present and projections for the future. The mother curriculum is sufficiently metaphorical and symptomatic that it can easily be understood as a work of art. At the opening Niurka read her CV and invited attendees to a guided tour of the exhibition, where she approached the topics dealt with from her personal point of view. Maybe it's not a bad idea to think about the future from the coordinates that our parents give us.
Artwork by Ismar Cirkinagic
Ismar Cirkinagic, presented a sculptural installation consisting of three parts: wood, dry leaves and a video with sea landscape. The wood is railway sleeper collected in the Central Railroad Terminal of Havana, with holes filled with rice grains. This part is superimposed on the leaves collected in different green areas of Havana, such as the Quinta de los Molinos. The installation ends in the projection of the open sea alluding an infinite horizon. This aesthetic interconnection of wood, plants and sea creates a series of associations connected with the notion of time and the interpretation of progress. The moment of clarity as a historical moment with a vision towards the future, becomes unavoidably, over time, part of our past. Here we are confronted with the idea of transience. (In contrast to the idea of progress). The idea of moment of clarity appear in this work as a contraposition between, on one side, being a single unique moment and on the other, a cyclic repetition in history. The need to though visionary light into the future towards the horizon of the possible and at the same time being confronted with the impossibility of avoiding the historical events do repeat themselves. These contradictions, is in the artwork presented harmoniously as part of our human destiny.

Artwork by Lester Alvarez

Lester Alvarez Meno creats artistic records of the architectural and mental spaces, which function as a lamp light against oblivion. His collaborative projects with others help to create a framework o in which the self is blurred and the collective begins to shine throw. The work "The houses of abandonment" is presented in the gallery space as a multimedia installation. It includes homonyms video made in the former Conservatory of Music of Camagüey, and works such as video animations, paintings and objects made by the artist Louis Arturo Aguirre, owner and resident of the old school. A part from the artist Lester Alvarez, in the video we also meet Louis Arturo (resident of the house), the musician Denise Chong, the artist and DJ Abraham Muñoz as well as the writer Roman Gutiérrez Aragoneses, who opens the video by reading from his poem "Eterómano de pañuelo".

"The moments of clarity would always be connected to light – be it light that flows easily and freely, creating an indefinite transparency, or light that brings precise contours and clear perception"
From their diverse experiences and artistic languages, these artists have shared the space of creating and thinking about clarity. The exhibition is thus a result of collaboration, dialogue and overlaps between different visual and conceptual expressions. As such it is a catalyst for ideas and vehicle for reflection on the problems of history, society and art itself.

The day the exhibition opened El Centro de Desarrollo received a big diverse grope of visitors. It was a beautiful experience across generations, professions and social layers. The local TV station Canal Havana was present and the media-curiosity only grow in the coming days with more interviews. We are very satisfied with the exhibition and the way it has been received in the Cuban cultural scene.