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FACTION Opens its doors in Harlem with a show centered around immigration

FACTION is a new flexible collective, from the team behind the hugely successful Gallery 8 and Coates & Scarry in London, who in this– their foray into the US– are adapting a unique model for artists and gallerists to work together.

FACTION is a well needed response to the changing market place and the erosion of the traditional art market, where galleries were gatekeepers for artists. FACTION aims to reimagine these relationships through unique collaborative projects, curated either by the team themselves, or by talented guest curators. FACTION provides artists with promotion and opportunity to access collectors and a wider audience, with all the support of a gallery but without the constraints of the traditional model.

FACTION Art Projects is presenting their inaugural exhibition All That You Have Is Your Soul February 2nd through March 10th. The show, curated by Armando Marino and Meyken Barreto, is a group show of 17 artists all of whom are tied together by their responses to building identity within a foreign land. Each artist in the show has some relationship to Cuba, some island-born emigres, some with careers developed in Cuba and others with more distant descendance. This starting point, a key point of identity for some but not for others, offers a tangible bond in their roots, but the overriding premise is that as a group they mean to redefine themselves within their unique circumstance.

All That You Have Is Your Soul presents a microcosm of the wider global community, one that attempts autonomy from social constraints and looks beyond the boundaries of borders and political divisions to focus and celebrate the individuality of the human soul. Exhibitions on Cuban tend to establish borders and define their subject through polarization: generations, inside/outside, national/foreign, made in the Island versus created elsewhere. In a world of fusing boundaries and blurred frontiers, is there a need to be defined by these terms? The claim of “Cubanidad” for contemporary art has become in most of the cases an artificial construction that complies with commercial, institutional or political interests.

Meyken Barreto– curating alongside Armando Marino– says:

“This exhibition understands identity as an open and liquid concept, which is constantly redefined and enriched. The artists gathered here come from different circumstances and their work departs from very diverse premises. With this exhibition we want to subtract weight from the well-worn Cuban Art label”.

A central theme for the show is the celebration of diversity. The artists involved are of a variety of ages, genders, sexualities and races. Notable artists include Ernesto Pujol (Havana, Cuba 1957) a site-specific performance artist, social choreographer, and educator with an interdisciplinary practice; Alejandro Aguilera (Holguin, Cuba 1964)– who creates abstract work with strong references to his recent memories of Cuba; Anthony Goicolea (Atlanta, Georgia 1971) a multidisciplinary artist who draws on themes like history, identity, cultural tradition, alienation and displacement; Maria Magdalena Campos Pons (La Vega, Cuba 1959) with autobiographical work investigating themes of history, memory, gender and religion and how they inform identity and Juana Valdes (Pinar Del Rio, Cuba 1963) whose work explores current migration processes and critiques race, gender, and mobility. Throughout the show FACTION will seek to engage with local communities of the Harlem neighborhood. This will include a series of School Workshops, Curators’ Talks, a Family Opening, Artist Workshops, Panel Discussions and a Cuban Cultural Evening. Speakers include: Joaquin Badajoz, Ernesto Mendez Conde, Meyken Barreto and Juana Valdez.

Don't miss this cultural event at FACTION Art Projects: 2602 Frederick Douglass Boulevard. •

Anthony Goicolea, Anonymous Patient XXXVI, 2018

Juan Miguel Pozo Cruz, Survey and Demarcation, 2017

Geandy Pavon, Folded House, 2016


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