Roberto Diago: La Historia Recordada at Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, School of the Arts at the College of Charleston
The work of Roberto Diago explores the roots and role of slavery in Cuban history and culture, offering a critical voice to the discourse on racism in Cuba. Exploring racism in Cuba—in what was formerly a plantation society—has generally been regarded as an act of resistance to the revolution, which ignored the issue in the interest of solidarity. But for Diago, as an Afro-Cuban artist, it cannot be ignored. Diago makes paintings and conceptual installations with found materials sourced from his neighborhood—bits of wood, plastic bottles, and rusty metals. These discarded materials are given new life and meaning by careful construction and juxtaposition, as Diago addresses both the visible and invisible strands of racial oppression in Cuba.
This exhibition will be part of a much larger college-wide interdisciplinary project with a focus on Cuba entitled Cuba en el Horizonte that will include special topics courses, lectures, and performances across departments of the College of Charleston. The Halsey Institute’s exhibition will be the focal point for this semester-long engagement with Cuban culture, politics, history, economics, and its potential future.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Juan Carlos Alom’s 16mm black-and-white short film, Habana Solo (2000), will be shown in the Halsey Institute microcinema. Habana Solo is a multi-sensory portrait of the city of Havana, Cuba. The film features improvised musical solos by Cuban musicians tasked with translating the city they inhabit into sound. The musical solos are paired with abstracted footage of the city landscape, making palpable the very spirit and essence of Havana.
This exhibition is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. All artworks on loan are courtesy of the artist and Magnan Metz Gallery, New York.
Roberto Diago: La Historia Recordada. January 19–March 3, 2018
Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, School of the Arts at the College of Charleston
The Marion and Wayland H. Cato Jr. Center for the Arts
161 Calhoun St, Charleston, SC 29424
T +1 843 953 4422
F +1 843 953 7890