GALLERIA CONTINUA, San Gimignano
Presentation of the box GALLERIA CONTINUA, CUBA with the 4 catalogs from the 2016 solo shows by Michelangelo Pistoletto, Jannis Kounellis, Anish Kapoor and the group show of Cuban artists 'Nido sin Árbol’. Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea Raffaele De Grada, Via Folgore 11, San Gimignano. Published by Maretti Editore
On Saturday, 20th January, from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m., a launch ceremony for the box set GALLERIA CONTINUA, CUBA, published by Maretti Editore, will be held at the Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea Raffaele De Grada [Raffaele De Grada Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery] in San Gimignano. Cuban curator Laura Salas Redondo will present the project.
It is in May 2015 that Galleria Continua officially started its activities in Cuba. Just as it happened in San Gimignano in 1990, a movie theatre from the ‘50s was selected as Arte CONTINUA’s headquarters. The first work presented at Aguila de Oro – such is the name of Arte CONTINUA’s venue in Havana – is “Périmètre – Blanc” (1969-2015), an in situ work by Daniel Buren already part of the 12th Havana Biennial. In November, “Anclados en el Territorio” [Anchored to the territory], a collective exhibition featuring Cuban artists, was launched. Most of all, what was asked of the artists Alejandro Campins, Elizabet Cerviño, Carlos Garaicoa, Susana Pilar, Reynier Leyva Novo and Josè Yaque was to tackle the history of the place that hosted them, a recently abandoned Art déco movie theatre situated in Havana’s Barrio Chino, the city’s Chinese quarter. These first exhibitions represented the exploration of the former theatre’s potential and the beginning of its resurrection.
For centuries now traditions and cultures in Cuba have become stratified, mixing together races and religions: shaping the inhabitants of the island. Its recent history has nurtured the Cubans’ sense of solidarity. Inspired by Cuba and the Cubans, what Arte CONTINUA has created with Aguila de Oro is a non-profit space where different cultures, geographies and artistic paths meet, where symbiosis as well as differences are sought, where the concept of borders is left behind and new cultural synergies are activated.
The exhibition programme from the past two years, as well as the many different cultural and educational activities offered (workshops, conferences featuring Cuban and international artists and curators, as well as music, dance and theatre performances) have highlighted how art, in all its possible forms and contents, is a non-verbal language that encourages exchanges between different peoples and knowledge of cultures that are geographically and historically far from one’s own, with the positive outcome of closing that distance. Therefore, art is a privileged tool in developing an intercultural education that overcomes divisions, simplifying relationships and intermingling, teaching people to relate to others. “Our intention with this project in Cuba, stated Lorenzo Fiaschi, Mario Cristiani and Maurizio Rigillo, founders of Galleria Continua, is to have humanity - not objects, artistic as they may be - travel around. It’s important to us that artists from all over the world come to Cuba to breathe its air, talk to the people and understand the country. To have that life experience and develop projects that intersect with an experience. Moreover, we want this to be a chance for Cuban artists to showcase their work beyond national borders. Travelling, visiting other places and meeting with other cultures will certainly be a source of enrichment for them as well”.
From 2015 to date, many international artists chose to share their Cuban experience with Galleria Continua. Many important exhibition projects were born from the meeting between these artists and the people, the culture and history of the island, allowing to showcase some of the greatest contemporary masters in Cuba for the first time.
The four volumes collected within the GALLERIA CONTINUA, CUBA box set document some of the exhibitions held in Havana throughout 2016; exhibitions held at CONTINUA’s HQs but also exhibitions organized in collaboration with museums and public spaces of the city. From Michelangelo Pistoletto’s exhibition at the Havana’s National Museum of Fine Arts curated by Lorenzo Fiaschi and Laura Salas Redondo; to Jannis Kounellis’ show at the Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Centre; to Anish Kapoor’s solo exhibition at Aguila De Oro and the collective show “Nido sin Arbol” [Nest without Tree] by Cuban artists held at the National Union of Cuban Architects and Construction Engineers, UNAICC.
The presentation of the four catalogues collected within the box set GALLERIA CONTINUA, CUBA is meant to be an occasion to relive and share some of the milestones of the experience of Galleria Continua and its artists in Cuba. A chance to recount the hardships encountered, like being unable to use technical tools and find the right materials, as well as a chance to testify to everyone’s enthusiasm and determination in bringing the project to completion and, last but not least, to give thanks for the warmth, the generosity and the participation with which Cuba has welcomed this cultural project.
On the occasion, attendees will be able to visit Alberto Sinigaglia’s exhibition in the presence of the artist, curated by Elio Grazioli within the project “Sguardo Italiano” and hosted by Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea Raffaele De Grada.