"De donde crece la palma" (From where the palm tree grows) | August 2021
A special collaboration with Havana Art Weekend
De donde crece la palma (From where the palm tree grows) is a special collaboration between Havana Art Weekend and La Pera Projects that will present the work of young Cuban artists working inside and outside of Cuba. This first capsule presents the artists Tatiana Mesa, Grethell Rasúa and Priscilla Alemán, with a series of works resulting from processes of observation, compilation and reinvention, dialogues about the private and the public from intimate perspectives.
Priscilla Aleman (1991, Miami, United States) lives and works in New York.
Priscilla Aleman's training in archaeology influences her sculptural installations, enabling her to retrace ideas around the afterlife, Pre-Columbian cosmology, and the interplay of cultures from the Global South. Bringing an understanding of traditions in the Americas and its environmental history, Aleman crafts her own sanctified installations as deified monuments and memorials. The artworks presented here are a series of collages that encase natural materials in vintage National Geographic magazines in high gloss resin.
The artist graduated from The Cooper Union and has a MFA from Columbia University. Upon graduating she continued her art practice in Miami working with archaeologists conducting an intimate investigation of South Florida’s relationship to the Tropics and the Latin America Landscape. Aleman’s next solo exhibition “Origins of Devotion” will open at The Wave Hill Sunroom Project Space, Fall 2021, New York. Aleman has exhibited in group shows at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC, 2009, The Margulies Collection, Miami Florida, 2009, National YoungArts Foundation, Miami Florida, 2009, 2018, 2020, among others.
Tatiana Mesa's sensitivity to things commonly unnoticed in the sallpaces of the 'outdoors' and the 'public' has generated a body of work ranging from collecting abandoned or forgotten objects, performing ephemeral actions in unexpected places, and placing personal items throughout the city. Besos (2001-2020) are part of an ongoing performance where the artist kisses statues. In her words: "Besos (kisses) are an approach to the city, and its places. A journey searching for love, ideals, and utopia. The statue not only represents a figure that relates to a specific context and moment in history but also is a material, a height, a situation. Each kiss is an experience that makes me move, search, and rehearse a particular form of togetherness."
She graduated from Instituto Superior de Arte, ISA in Havana, Cuba. She is a founding member of the well known cuban art collective “Public Intervention Department” 1999-2005. Mesa’s work has been included in festivals of ephemeral art and poetry, events such as Havana Biennial in Cuba and Artist’s Book Triennial in Vilnius, Lithuania; exhibitions at de Appel Art Centre in Amsterdam, Galería Habana, Havana, NoguerasBlanchard, Barcelona, Sala Amadis, Madrid, Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales, among others.
Tatiana Mesa (1981, Havana, Cuba) lives and works in Tampa.
Grethell Rasúa (1983, Havana, Cuba) lives and works in New York.
Cubierta de Deseos (Cover in wishes) is a project that Grethell Rasúa started in 2008 in Havana, where she photographed several facades in Cuba, capturing the color changes and decorative modifications made to them over time. Most of these houses were destroyed on the inside and suffer from serious construction problems. Unable to move out or renovate their homes, owners stayed at their places for decades against their will. Nevertheless, they maintained their thirst for improvement and concentrated on beautifying their facades with colors and resources that, although not ideal, grant the illusion of having found a better home.
Rasúa graduated from Instituto Superior de Arte, ISA, 2009 and Cátedra de Arte de Conducta/ Behavior Art School, 2007 created by Tania Bruguera. Her works have been presented at the 56th Venice Biennale, at Havana Biennials, 2006, 2009, 2012, at the Mercosur Biennial, 2013 and in other spaces such as the Sao Paulo Art Museum, Art Museum of the Americas, MNBA Havana, Ludwig Forum for International Art, Hemispheric Institute of Performance, and the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, among others. Her work is part of prestigious collections such as Ludwig Forum for International Art, CIFO Art Foundation, Cuban National Museum of Fine Arts, Daros-Latinamerica AG, Caixa Forum, among others.
Half of the profits from the sales will be donated to the Solo el Amor (SEA), an independent initiative based in Havana, in solidarity with the current moment that Cuban people are experiencing. SEA is a support network created by Cuban friends in the arts, inside and outside of Cuba, whose mission is to deliver hand-in-hand donations to those most in need in different provinces of the country. Among the founding members is the artist Martika Minipunto, who was one of the artists commissioned in the last edition of Havana Art Weekend.
Havana Art Weekend is a project founded by Direlia Lazo, a four-day program of exhibitions, performances, site-specific projects in artist studios and unconventional spaces in Havana during December.