A curatorship is always a gesture of imposition, a true exercise of power. There is nothing humble about it. When someone decides to launch a project –with or without a defined pretext–, and engages in a necessary process of settling (in response to format, aesthetic or personal taste), is actually imposing their judgments to arrive so at an elitist proposal, more or less coherent and attractive. In this sense, all curatorial work is nothing more than a mere matter of choice, where the curator is due to a balance of individual interests with the consume expectation of a given space.
After all, the curator must also cross-dress himself into a PR agent; and in many cases relinquish the romantic figures to dominate and cajole dealers and private collectors. Ultimately, the curator, as the most ordinary salesman, works with marketable products, sui generis goods where the symbolic and commercial extravaganza melts. “You’re not buying my art –pokes the legendary Raymond Pettibon in one of his visual texts–, you’re giving me food.”
From these assumptions I decided to risk this alternative performance, with recurring 50/50 hitting my back, reminding me that in any way it would be easy.
Garage 33:08 is nothing but the response to an urgent need: the lack of independent spaces of exhibition in Havana. It is also a revolting pill to conservatism, bureaucracy and political expediency governing institutional management in our artistic space. To that notorious dysfunctional trade extending as a syndrome among the directors of the main Havana galleries (actually, a serial circuit), the alternative move rushes to aid the flashes of a space languishing in its official appearance.
The council of three young painters, whose production had never joined on or off the Island, gained my confidence. In the case of Maikel Sotomayor (1989) and Lancelot Alonso (1986) –old acquaintances in the emerging plastic scene for their repeated ventures individually and collectively–, the methodical filigree was felt quickly and permeated a little the path of the project. Then, Richard Somonte (1991) appeared to splash with other intentions a gesture that could also closed itself to the duo –though it would never be the same. It was then that I felt like I did before a Mondrian’s composition: breathing balance everywhere.
The three artists, refugee in their poetic antagonism, offered me his individual version of the same thing: the impossibility of transcending the canvas; painting as damned circumstance. And I knew that was what I wanted to show, what I pursued from the beginning. You cannot lie there, where aesthetic perception and conceptual projects conjugate. Paint, even when the market saturates the veins of many makers, can be and has been in several cases, much humbler than enclosed in a gallery with a coyote.
But beyond these three painters and my curatorial ego, a new space survives. A new independent swap from which, loudly, create atmosphere. Another timely “mechanics.” Transformation from a garage to a receptacle of artistic proposals; from a discreet artist’s studio to the bustle of a demanding public, thirsting for true orgies. From the irony of everyday-life to another reason in which to think. In addition to El Oficio, Hypermedia Magazine, Lázaro Saavedra, Eduardo Ponjuán, Hector Antón Castillo, Elvia Rosa Castro, Señor Corchea, Quentin Tarantino, Laura Lays, José Kozer y Roberto Bolaño. Despite the sad champions of official statism, the bane of some –not less sad– frustrated colleagues, the banishment of some artists and indispensable books, the specific meaning of these lines that threaten to spin out of tune… Garage 33:08 already exists.