The Brownstone Foundation continues its support for Cuban culture and presents as part of its programming the CARA A CARA « ONLINE » exhibition with three photographers: Antoine d’Agata, Leandro Féal and Alejandro Gonzalez. From Mala Noche (1991-1997), the first series of photographs by Antoine d’Agata, to Green Havana (2020) by Leandro Féal, including AM-PM (2005) by Alejandro Gonzalez, the Franco-Cuban trio we presents their vision of the world.
CARA CARA ON LINE and ON INSTAGRAM @fondationbrownstone
CURATORS : Samantha Barroero & Gilbert Brownstone
CONCEPTION : Laurent Friquet
Born in 1961 in Marseille. His photographic and cinematographic work gives a subjective and implacable account of the present state of the world. He made a strong impression with his exhibition “Anticorps”, at Le BAL, in Paris, in 2013. He is a member of Magnum Photos and his work is represented by Magnum Gallery and Galerie des filles du Calvaire in Paris. The photographer has always strived to break through boundaries, not to experience society as a whole that one documents but a chaos that one penetrates at his own risks. His images are subjective gestures that aim to push the limits of visual representation and the standards surrounding the photographic act. Antoine d´Agata’s work takes the form of an autobiographical journal, a chronological account of disorderly journeys, an intimate encounter with the violence of the world. In this fragile attempt, the photographer becomes the object of his images, documents what he experiences and experiences each situation with the aim of documenting it. A full player in the program that he condemns himself to live, he is required to follow to the letter a work plan nourished by the principle of action, following the same inexhaustible protocol: to go through and be traversed by experiences whose denominator common is excess.
In March 2020, from the first day of confinement in France following the Covid-19 epidemic, Antoine d’Agata walked the streets of Paris with a thermal camera to record, in his own way, the viral episode that transformed the city in a strange theater of wandering souls, bowed heads and fleeing bodies. As the coronavirus tore the world apart and people isolated themselves, he tracked down the heat stored up by the bodies, first in the street, then very quickly in the Covid-19 intensive care and reanimation units. Over the past two months, he produced 13,000 images (6,500 in the streets of the capital, 6,500 images in various hospitals where he photographed nurses and patients in the services intended to face the Covid-19 epidemic, sometimes sleeping for days in the very heart of hospital structures, photographing interactions between paramedics, doctors, patients, as well as medical procedures.. » As part of the “3ème Scène” program, the Paris Opera has commissioned a film ‘La Vie Nue /Bare Life’ with images edited from the VIRUS serie. In July he presented a video installation in in the courtyard of the Archdiocese of Arles. In October 2020, VIRUS was presented simultaneously at the Brownstone Foundation, at the Carreau du Temple and at The Window in Paris, offering until the day before the second confinement on October 29. Antoine d’Agata’s look at the Covid 19 and its social and political resonances. VIRUS screenings, conferences and exhibitions took place in Italy, Spain, Georgia and Ukraine … The exhibition at Brownstone Foundation 26 rue saint gilles Paris will be posponed until 2021.
Antoine d´Agata created his own publishing house, Studio Vortex which he published Manifesto (2017), Acephale (2018), S.T.A.S.I.S. (2019), and his new opus VIRUS released on October 29, 2020.Bacon / D’Agatabook has just been published by Editions The Eyes, with texts by Perrine Le Querrec and Léa Bismuth which underlines the links between the painter and the photographer: ‘There would therefore be a free zone for which the body would be a field of intensity, action and tension. The photographer and the painter chose closed rooms at night as a means of access to this energetic matrix, both creative and destructive. ‘
INSTAGRAM : @antoinedagata
Leandro Feal (Havana, 1986) is an artist of the young generation of Cuban photographers. His work maintains the reserved and intimate character of domestic photography, hence the spontaneity of his frames and the naturalness with which his characters face the camera. The anthropological foundation of his work owes much to his time at the “Art of Conduct Chair” directed by Tania Bruguera and focused on the empowerment of relational practices in art. This experience, together with the permanent scrutiny in the daily life of life, has crystallized into a very unique task close to the viewer. It should be noted that his fundamental interest in recent years has focused on today’s Cuba. The great social changes experienced on the island, as well as in the imaginary that accompanies them, have been directing their work towards a very particular expressiveness and ease, in tune with the contextual dynamics of a new type.
His work has been exhibited in Cuba in spaces such as the National Museum of Fine Arts of Havana (MNBA), the Center for the Development of Visual Arts (CDAV), the Servando gallery and the Provincial Center for Plastic Arts and Design. Also in other relevant foreign institutions, among them, the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), in the United States; Continua Gallery, in France; the Laznia Center for Contemporary Art, in Poland; the Basque Center-Museum of Contemporary Art and the Atlantic Center of Modern Art, both in Spain. In addition to the development of the exhibition projects “Yo no hablo con fotografos”, Servando Gallery (2018) and “Blow Up, Blow Up” (together with Joan Fontcuberta), El Apartamento (2016), Leandro has participated in the Pontevedra Biennial (Galicia, Spain) and at the Kochi Muziris Biennial (Kochi, India).
INSTAGRAM : @leandrofeal
Alejandro González born in 1974 in La Havana, learned photography in workshops with Diego Goldberg, Luis González Palma and Edgar Moreno. And in 2002 he starts a residency at the Graduate School of Arts and Media in Cologne. In 2009, he received the Casa de las Americas de Cuba award, photography section. He has exhibited at the Alvar Aalto Museum in Finland, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, Kyotography in Japan, among others. His work is in the collections of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Museum of Latin American Art in Los Angeles, and the National Museum of Fine Arts in Cuba.
Alejandro González documents Cuban contemporary culture, emphasising the diversity of Cuban people and highlighting aspects of society that are often overlooked in the mainstream. González is the voice of the depreciated, the concealed and the forgotten. His first photographic series of 1999-2000 documented the transitory nature and precariousness of time, spaces and individuals in Havana’s late nineties after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. González’s politically-imbued photographs bear witness to his own generation as well as to the juvenile sector of Havana (Cuba, year zero, 2010), also his series of portraits tooked during the first legal gay-pride in La Havana in 2008. He is interested in thinking about how Cuban history interacts with the past as well as the present and the future. In AM-PM (2005) and Improper Behaviour (2008), series included in Cara a Cara online exhibition with Antoine d’Agata and Leandro Féal – Nov.-Dec. 2020 at Brownstone Foundation, he vindicates the ethics, aesthetics and rights of the uncanny, of those degraded due to sexual conduct or preferences. In Re-construction (2012-2015), he affirms his political motivation with a series of upending photo-essays where he rebuilt the scenarios of sensitive moments of Cuban history. This staging method is echoed in González’s most recent series Beating around the bush (2017), where he narrates the cycle of the genesis and fall of a political system with cardboard.
Alejandro González’s photos are a living testimony to Cuban youth, to those who have never entertained any illusions about real socialism, those left behind by state capitalism. This is how he concluded an interview given during the 9th Havana Biennial: ‘This report is a dialogue on the past, present and future of Cuba through this generation, to affirm its state of rebellion, its pleasures, its anxieties, its ingenuity, its doubts, its frustrations, its hopes, its joys…’
INSTAGRAM : @alejandrogonzalezmendez