INTERVIEW Art as Process in Everyday Life
Wilfredo Prieto is one of Cuba’s most renowned conceptual artists. As a student, he participated in the alternative educational project Galería DUPP (Desde Una Pragmática Pedagógica, 1997–2001), a collective that fostered collaboration, and community-based research. Currently, Prieto is engaging in two ground-breaking projects shaped by the transformation of Havana’s creative industries following Barack Obama’s visit to Cuba, Donald Trump’s election, and Fidel Castro’s death. His laboratory/studio revitalized an abandoned government-owned space to invite multidisciplinary artists to develop and/or present their work there. He shares the space with a residential building, impacting the neighbor’s everyday life through artistic intervention. On the other hand, his major piece El viaje infinito, developed in a rural area, includes research in such diverse disciplines as engineering, forestry, topography, sociology, and cultural studies. Working as an independent producer and mediator between governmental power and local communities, the artist attempts to build a ‘utopian’ highway in the shape of the infinite, as a critical view of cyclic world politics today. In this interview, Wilfredo Prieto comments widely on those projects while he refers to education and ethics as sustainable tools. He recognizes the massive power of economic censorship, instead of the widely debated political censorship, and describes his notion of artista turista.
KeywordsContemporary art Cuba Creative industries Wilfredo Prieto Censorship Community-based art
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