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The art exhibit Drapetomania: Exposició\;n Homenaj e a Grupo Antillano\, will open at the CDAV in Havana on August 1\, 20 13. The exhibit is complemented by the volume Grupo Antillano: The Art of Afro-Cuba\, edited by Alejandro de la Fuente\, with essays by sever al Cuban (Guillermina Ramos Cruz\, José\; Veigas) and American (Judit h Bettelheim) art critics and historians. The project is sponsored by the F ord Foundation\, by the Santiago de Cuba-based Caguayo Foundation for the M onumental and Applied Arts and by the Institute of Afro-Latin American Stud ies\, Harvard University.

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A forgotten visual arts and cultural move ment that thrived briefly between 1978 and 1983\, Grupo Antillano articulat ed a vision of Cuban culture that privileged the importance of Africa and A fro-Caribbean influences in the formation of the Cuban nation. In contrast to official characterizations of Santeria and other African religious pract ices as primitive and counter-revolutionary during the so-called Quinqu enio Gris (a "grey" period of neo-Stalinist censorship during the 1970 s)\, Grupo Antillano valiantly proclaimed the centrality of African practic es in national culture. They viewed Africa and the surrounding Caribbean no t as a dead cultural heritage\, but as a vibrant\, ongoing and vital influe nce that continued to define what it means to be Cuban. Some Afro-Cuban int ellectuals\, such as the noted ethnomusicologist Rogelio Martí\;nez F uré\;\, proclaimed triumphantly that a "new\," authentic Cuban art ha d been born.

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Yet neither this "new art" nor the very existence of G rupo Antillano are remembered today. Grupo Antillano has been removed from all accounts of the so-called "new Cuban art\," a movement that took shape precisely during those years and that is frequently associated with the leg endary exhibit Volumen Uno (1981). In contrast to Grupo Antillano\ , most of the artists of Volmen Uno did not look towards Africa or the Caribbean for inspiration\, but to new trends in Western art. The "new art of Cuba\," to use the title of art scholar Luis Camnitzer's f amous book\, came to be identified with the westernized approach of Vol umen Uno\, not with the Afro-Caribbean art of Grupo Antillano.

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This exhibit seeks to recover the history of this group and their importan t contributions to the art of Cuba\, the Caribbean and the African Diaspora . Several members of Grupo Antillano had attended the Second World Black an d African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) in Nigeria in 1977 and saw their work as part of a diasporic conversation on art\, race and colonialis m--what sculptor Rafael Queneditt\, founder of the group\, called "the blac k movement." As the Group stated in its foundational manifesto (1978)\, "Th e Antilles are our real environment... We are not interested in other world s." They saw their work as part of a long tradition of struggle\, cultural affirmation and cimarronaje. This is what a Louisiana medical doct or described in the nineteenth-century as the slave disease drapetomani a. The main symptom of this disease was an irresistible urge to run aw ay and escape slavery.

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The exhibit showcases works by the artists w ho belonged to Grupo Antillano and works by a group of contemporary artists . As an intellectual and curatorial project\, the exhibit suggests that som e of the concerns and anxieties articulated by Grupo Antillano thirty years ago continue to inform the work of contemporary Cuban artists. The exhibit offers a revisionist understanding of the "new art of Cuba" through the wo rk of artists who have been concerned with issues of race\, history\, and t he centrality of Africa and the Caribbean to Cuban culture and national ide ntity. It also brings together\, for the first time\, the artists of Grupo Antillano and some of the artists of Volumen Uno.

DTEND:20130831 DTSTAMP:20140921T102144 DTSTART:20130801 GEO:23.1359565;-82.3500208 LOCATION:Centro de Desarrollo de Artes Visuales (CDAV)\,Plaza Vieja Habana Vieja\nHavana\, SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Drapetomania: Grupo Antillano and the Art of Afro-Cuba\, Grupo Anti llano\, Esteban Ayala\, Belkis Ayón\, José Bedia\, Marta María Pérez Bravo\ , Eduardo Roca Choco\, Rogelio Rodriguez Cobas\, Manuel Couceiro\, Andres M ontalván Cuéllar\, Juan Roberto Diago\, Herminio Escalona\, Alexis Esquivel \, Ever Fonseca\, Ramon Haití\, Manuel Mendive Hoyo\, Arnaldo Rodriguez Lar rinaga\, Oscar Rodriguez Lasseria\, Alberto Lescay\, Leonel Morales\, Clara Morera\, Miguel Ocejo\, Santiago Rodríguez Olazábal\, René Peña\, Douglas Perez\, Rafael Queneditt\, Leandro Soto\, Elio Rodriguez Valdes\, Julia Val dés UID:265182 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20130801T200000 DTSTAMP:20140921T102144 DTSTART:20130801T180000 GEO:23.1359565;-82.3500208 LOCATION:Centro de Desarrollo de Artes Visuales (CDAV)\,Plaza Vieja Habana Vieja\nHavana\, SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Drapetomania: Grupo Antillano and the Art of Afro-Cuba\, Grupo Anti llano\, Esteban Ayala\, Belkis Ayón\, José Bedia\, Marta María Pérez Bravo\ , Eduardo Roca Choco\, Rogelio Rodriguez Cobas\, Manuel Couceiro\, Andres M ontalván Cuéllar\, Juan Roberto Diago\, Herminio Escalona\, Alexis Esquivel \, Ever Fonseca\, Ramon Haití\, Manuel Mendive Hoyo\, Arnaldo Rodriguez Lar rinaga\, Oscar Rodriguez Lasseria\, Alberto Lescay\, Leonel Morales\, Clara Morera\, Miguel Ocejo\, Santiago Rodríguez Olazábal\, René Peña\, Douglas Perez\, Rafael Queneditt\, Leandro Soto\, Elio Rodriguez Valdes\, Julia Val dés UID:265183 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR