The OBSESSION exhibition emerges from the current, critical period
when Cuban artists, journalists, and intellectuals have responded to the government’s crackdowns on artistic freedom with
specific demands. OBSESSION aims to be a channel of ‘healing’ for the artists involved, many of whom have suffered marginalization,
seclusion and violence in recent months by the repressive apparatus of the Cuban Government.
is made up of works by Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, Lester Álvarez Meno, Katherine Bisquet, Jenny Brito, Raychel Carrión,
Benjamín del Castillo, Adrián Curbelo, Italo Expósito, Kiko Faxas, Celia González, Hamlet Lavastida, Camila Lobón, Julio Llópiz-Casal,
Mujercitos collective, and Nelson Jalil Sardiñas.
Accompanying the exhibition is a series of online and in-person
discussions surrounding the work of participating artists and the situation of artistic discourse and cultural narratives
in the Cuban context.
27 November 2021 — 28 January 2022
| Burggasse 24/4 | 1070 Vienna
online inauguration 27 November 2021
18 December 2021, 15-21h
• Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara • Lester Álvarez Meno • Katherine Bisquet • Jenny Brito • Raychel Carrión • Julio Llópiz-Casal
• Benjamin del Castillo • Adrian Curbelo • Italo Exposito • Kiko Faxas • Celia González • Hamlet Lavastida • Camila Lobón
• Nelson Jalil Sardiñas
OBSESSION gathers and involves an entire
spectrum of optimism and anxiety that has accompanied the lives of artists in Cuba since 2018, when Decree 349 severely restricted
the cultural sphere. Following two years of escalating tensions, on 27 November 2020, more than 300 people assembled at the
Cuban Ministry of Culture to reject state violence against artists and demand rights of artistic expression for all.
then, many artists have all but stopped making work to dedicate themselves to activism, while others have shifted the focus
of their artistic practice toward the current crisis.
In some cases, OBSESSION has
been the only way to achieve results—an agent of action and a path forward. At the same time, it has been a constant source
of anxiety and distress, all but consuming entire aspects of life. For many, the work has become the condition of being faced
with continual antagonism by the State. For other Cuban artists working outside the country, their production is in some ways
now more inside the context than ever before.
OBSESSION is a state
of being, a profile of psychology, an exit to social ostracism. It suggests an entrypoint into the current socio-political
context of Cuba without being too far-fetched, ever mindful that OBSESSION implies a certain
The exhibition has to do with artists’ insistence on telling (the rapporteur),
on testifying (the narrative), and on ceaselessly sharing images and information to raise awareness, in all cases, obsessively.
In these times, what are we going to talk about if not obsession,
anxiety, and the most distressing burnouts, they last longer than joys,
are deeper and more evident in the brief space that we occupy in this world.