Texts

Belkis Ayón: Preamble for an Endless Trip toward the Soil

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For us, weary of the crowds and sleepless nights, arriving in Alamar—the promised land—confirmed, among other things, that there was a place teeming with life, without hate or betrayals; a castle where we could exercise the greatest spiritual tranquility. Then Belkis would come with her enormous eyes of an Egyptian goddess, open the door and let us in, and nobody dared to get rid of this state of mind while we sojourned comfortably under her warm smile and contagious optimism. I see Belkis as a mysteriously invulnerable woman, ready to offer the best spaghetti in Havana and the finest ...

Remembering Belkis Ayón, on the 10th anniversary of her physical disappearance

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A Date that Cannot Be Forgotten: September 11 has become a date of loss and pain in our collective imagination after the terrorist attacks against the twin towers, in New York, 2001. However, Today, I am writing about another departure, perhaps more intimate because it is ours, perhaps more questionable because it was intentional, leaving behind a mystery and the terrible sensation that accompanies bitter, inexplicable gestures. I am speaking of the Cuban artist Belkis Ayón Manso (1967-1999), who one day, ten years ago, took her own life.

Speaking of the myths of art

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To tell the truth it wasn’t easy to interview Belkis Ayón, despite the appearances, that is to say, her youth, the recognitions her artistic work has had, her personality, that one would bet was very accessible, frank and open as her laughter. But we should not confuse such attributes with the vehemence, I would even dare say the passion, of Belkis Ayón the artist, the one that with steel blue lucidity knows about the trajectory of her work yesterday and today.

BELKIS AYÓN: DESASOSIEGO/RESTLESSNESS

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When Darrel Couturier asked me in October 1997 for the title of this exhibition I didn’t have one yet; in all honesty, I hadn’t even thought about it. That day, I was committed to attend the opening of the first exhibitions of two of my students. After finishing my duties as spectator and “guardian angel”, […]

In irregular confidence

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February 4, 1997 LA GACETA DE CUBA magazine, No. 2, March / April of 1997, year 35, pp. 50-51. …Not a single word of anticipation or impatience. She knows that she is the main reason for this conversation and however she waits patiently for Segura to finish explaining his sculptural project. I have impression that […]

Belkis Ayón’s Respectful Arbitrariness

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Her being a woman does not strike me as something strange. The fact is that once again it is a woman. No matter that she calls herself Belkis (and not Sikán or Sikanekue). It does not change anything at all; neither does the different setting, nor time span, nor the details. The story unfolds again, repeatedly.

Confessions

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For some time now, I have been studying one of the components of our culture on the African side, the carabalies, and of them the Abakuá Secret Society, in which only men can participate, a society of mutual help and succor, self-funded by its members.