This interview is part of an ongoing conversation between Claire Tancons and Ronald Cyrille, which began at the Tout-Monde Festival in Miami in March 2018. It was followed-up by a virtual visit on December 9, 2020, to his studio at the Mémorial ACTe (MACTe) in Guadeloupe during his residency there (November 2020 – March 2021) in partnership with the Pérez Art Museum Miami’s Caribbean Cultural Institute. The conversation will continue as Ronald is preparing for his upcoming exhibition Génésis: Mythologies individuelles.
Presenting engaging discussions and conversations with artists, scholars, curators, and cultural producers on topics concerning contemporary art and visual culture in the Caribbean and its diasporas.
The CCI Forum welcomes unsolicited proposals of interviews, essays, and articles on topics related to contemporary art and intellectual histories of the Caribbean and its diasporas. Proposals should include a 200-word abstract, a 75-word bio, and a maximum of three images, if relevant.
Please send your proposal to email@example.com, including “Submission Proposal” in the subject line.
Fascinated by the history of his native country, Viktor El-Saieh draws from the folklore, myths, traditions, and political leaders that shape Haitian culture. In this conversation, he speaks about his artistic beginnings, the development of his career, his relationship with Caribbean art, his interest in interrogating Haiti’s role in the Americas, and in defining his own as an artist.
In this essay, Julián Sánchez González discusses three works by Arnaldo Roche Rabell, Belkis Ayón, and Purvis Young through the lens of shamanism as a cultural practice. By considering these artists’ spiritual interests, Sánchez González borrows from comparative religious studies and anthropology to open up new methodological avenues for art history. Examining the parallel visual strategies deployed in these works from PAMM’s collection, Sánchez González analyzes these artists’ interest in the otherworldly and supernatural as a way to supersede their immediate sociopolitical contexts and reflect on the contemporary human condition.
Juan Carlos Alom is one of Cuba’s most notable experimental photographers and filmmakers. He explores the idiosyncrasies and contradictions of everyday life, highlighting often-overlooked aspects of Cuban culture through compelling imagery and non-linear, spontaneous visual narratives. Inspired by the aesthetics and tradition of the 1960s documentary cinema in Cuba, Alom’s oeuvre addresses Afro-Cuban traditions, spirituality and nature, and Caribbean diasporic experience from a poetic and metaphorical perspective.
An artist from the Bahamas, April Bey creates impactful and colorful works that address race, identity, feminism and popular culture through a multidisciplinary approach. Inspired by Afrosurrealism and Afrofuturism, Bey’s artistic practice explores the complexities of American and Bahamian cultures through a decolonizing perspective. She uses references from pop culture deliberately, leveraging them to illustrate her own personal mythologies.
Barbadian visual artist Ewan Atkinson discusses his creative process and the invisible microorganisms that inhabit the evolving fictional world, The Neighbourhood. This conversation developed in the context of a Caribbean Cultural Institute research trip to Barbados in March 2020, at the onset of the pandemic quarantine phase.
Puerto Rico-based dancer and performance artist nibia pastrana santiago develops site-specific “choreographic events” to experiment with time, fiction, and notions of territory. In this conversation, nibia speaks about idleness, exhaustion, corporal vandalism, and the tensions between bodies and space in times of global pandemic.
Phillip Thomas is an artist living in Jamaica. His striking paintings depict Black imagery that reflect the discourses on social justice that affects Black communities in the Caribbean and across the world. Drawing from the complex history of race in Jamaica, and referencing classical motifs in Western painting, Thomas creates surreal or dreamlike images in which Black bodies are depicted with honor and beauty.