The Cuban Matrix
September 16, 2017, 6 - 9 pm
Torrance Art Museum is pleased to invite you to attend the Opening Reception for The Cuban Matrix.
The Cuban Matrix is TAM’s contribution to the 2017 SUR: biennial. SUR is a biennial multi-venue, international exhibition program. Participating institutions produce projects with artists from across Latin America, as well as Latin American artists working in and engaging Southern California. 2017’s iteration is SUR’s fourth and Torrance Art Museum’s third participation.
The Cuban Matrix is also a part of Getty-led Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles, taking place from September 2017 through January 2018 at more than 70 cultural institutions across Southern California. Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America.
Participating artists include: Ariamna Contino, Alejandro Figueredo Diaz-Perera, Jorge Otero Escobar, Diana Fonseca, Alexander Hernandez, Tony Labat with Juan Carlos Alom, Francisco Maso, Reynier Leyva Novo and Esterio Segura.
The Cuban Matrix looks at contemporary Cuban art, through the lens of political realities and global artistic ambitions and objectives, with an emphasis on the role of digital media exchange culture. The oblique focal point of the exhibition is the offline digital “mercado” (marketplace) – a sharing culture that has arisen around the phenomenon of “El Paquete Semanal”: a weekly terabyte packet of entertainment, downloaded webpages and information that is illicitly smuggled into Cuba, shared and consumed throughout Cuban society, via new technologies, specifically computer hard-drives.
We have taken this exhibition as an opportunity to talk about a Cuba that is not often discussed: a digital Cuba. This moment in Cuba is rife with uncertainty – the potential normalization of international relations, the future of Cuban identity, their own internal political future, and many more unknowable situations yet to be confronted. But beyond that we wish to ponder a Cuba that is navigating two distinct temporal realities: the reality of economic isolation - the blockade - and that of instant planetary communication and interminable velocity.
It is “El Paquete” that forms an intersection between these two and helps create a uniquely Cuban perspective and positioning. The Cuban Matrix explores this as both the metaphor and the specifically Cuban exegesis of their time and place.