All That You Have Is Your Soul, a group show of 17 artists, all of whom are tied together by their responses to building identity within a foreign land. The exhibition uses the link of heritage between the artists to present artworks that celebrate difference in identity.
Artists from disparate generations and with diverse histories come together to create a community through the narratives of their art. All That You Have Is Your Soul presents a microcosm of the wider global community, one that attempts autonomy from social constraints and looks beyond the boundaries of borders and political divisions to focus and celebrate the individuality of the human soul.
Each artist in the show has some relationship to Cuba, some island-born emigres, some with careers developed in Cuba and others with more distant descendance. This starting point, a key point of identity for some, but not for others, offers a tangible bond in their linked roots, but the overriding premise is that as a group they mean to redefine themselves within their unique circumstance.
Exhibitions on Cuban art thus far have tended to establish borders and define their subject through polarization: generations, inside/outside, national/foreign, made in the Island versus created elsewhere. In a world of fusing boundaries and erased frontiers, is there a need to be defined by these terms? The claim of “Cubanidad” for contemporary art has become in most of the cases an artificial construction that complies with commercial, institutional or political interests.
All That You Have Is Your Soul on the contrary, invites participants to express their own opinions on what it means, fundamentally to be an artist. The struggle of being of an artist, regardless of background, is visible in the physical manifestations of their practice. Inevitably, each perspective is different, and it is only through this that we can truly begin to comprehend the complexity of human creativity.
Armando Marino, Co-curator and artist exhibiting in the show says: “I wanted to add my story of what it means to be an artist, in spite of what I was born, to those of others, seeking to demonstrate that although we have our roots in the same place, every story is truly unique All That You Have Is Your Soul offers an insight into the distinct ways in which artists have rebuilt their identities, and reimagined themselves within new environments.”
Curating alongside Armando Marino is Meyken Barreto, who says: “This exhibition bets on the understanding of identity as an open and liquid concept, which is constantly redefined and enriched. The artists gathered here come from different circumstances and their work departs from very diverse premises. With this exhibition we want to subtract weight from the well-worn “Cuban Art” label, and in a way relativize or undermine this notion.”
Alejandro Aguilera, Anthony Goicolea, Armando Mariño, Ariel Cabrera Montejo, Elsa Mora, Enrique De Molina Ernesto Pujol, Geandy Pavon, Jairo Alfonso, Juan Carlos Quintana, Juan Miguel Pozo, Juana Valdes, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Marc Dennis, Maritza Molina, Pavel Acosta, Quisqueya Henriquez