Tout le poids d'une île. Collectionner l'art cubain

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Catalogue of the exhibition presented in three sites: the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Rennes, the 40mcube contemporary art centre in Rennes and the Passerelle contemporary art centre in Brest.


In France, knowledge of other cultures is marked by its colonial past, its relations with its economic and political partners and with the Great Powers. As a result, there is little talk of Latin America and Cuba, in this absence of a collective imagination, is often reduced to a few general features that can be used as clichés of salsa, communist revolution and rum. Only a few students who have studied Spanish will have heard of Nicolas Guillén or Alejo Carpentier, but none of Perez Monzon, Consuelo Castañeda, Antonia Eiriz or the groups Eleven or Pure.

Yet Cuba is undoubtedly one of the three great cultural poles of Spanish-speaking America, alongside Argentina and Mexico. Twelve times less populated than Mexico and 25 times smaller than Argentina, the island has nevertheless produced an unsuspected quantity of truly fascinating musicians, dancers, writers and visual artists whose influences have had a universal scope that easily rivals the Amerindian and Southern Cone centres.

The 1959 Castro revolution that succeeded the Batista dictatorship established a divisive regime that led to a situation similar to those still existing in Korea and China: partition. In the United States alone, almost 10% of the Cuban population has emigrated, mainly to Florida, not to mention other Latin American countries, particularly Mexico. As a result, Cuban artistic creation, when it claims to be such, must also take into account this very important diaspora. Cuban art is therefore not exclusively the product of an island, but is the product of this island that federates the artists.

François Vallée, who has been in love with Cuban art for decades, has collected more than 400 pieces. His collection is marked by personal choices, the sometimes unusual hazards of collecting, encounters and exchanges and is not comparable to a museum collection selected by specialists who put reason before passion. 

9782363063243_Tout le poids d'une île

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Number of pages
200 pages
21 x 29 cm
Paper back
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