NKAME : BELKIS AYÓN. ANTHOLOGICAL EXHIBITION

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Convent of San Francisco de Asís, Old Havana, Havana, Cuba.

September 11 to November 28, 2009

Curator: Cristina Vives

Project Management: Dra. Katia Ayón Manso. Estate of Belkis Ayón.

NATIONAL CURATORSHIP AWARD, 2009, granted by the National Council of Plastic Arts, Havana, Cuba.

General coordinator: Katia Ayón, Belkis Ayón Estate

In the book Los Ñañigos by Enrique Sosa Rodríguez, Casa de las Américas, 1982, page 249 (copy from the artist's bookshelf), Belkis Ayón marked, years before he died, in blue ink, the nkame that modern ñañigos inscribe along with the christian tomb of the dead abanekwe:

«Do not remember in your dream
none of your brothers
that mourn your absence. "

This Nkame, synonymous with praise and salutation in the Abakuá language, is the title of the exhibition (and the eponymous book in process of editing) that will pay tribute, on the tenth anniversary of her physical disappearance, to a creator who left with her death a message of life.

The Belkis Ayón Estate and the  City Historian's Office announce the inauguration of this anthological exhibition that will remain open to the public until November 28, 2009. The exhibition includes 83 works executed in the techniques of collography, lithography, and intaglio made between 1984, during her studies at the San Alejandro Academy, until the series carried out between 1998-1999, which constituted her last personal exhibition in Los Angeles, California. For the first time, all the large-format works that the artist produced since the beginning of her career will be seen as a whole, some of them accompanied by her sketches and notes.

Belkis died at the age of thirty-two, leaving behind these essential works for the history of contemporary printmaking. The keys to her death remain a painful mystery for the international artistic community, which observed with admiration her successful rise to the most demanding circuits of art in the nineties.

Religion and the Abakuá Secret Society, thematic sources of her work, are spaces created by men and only for men. They stigmatize and segregate women and, in turn, maintain strict discipline and maintain unassailable ethics and mystery. Belkis penetrated the space of the rite as far as she was allowed, and studied all the sources of information at her reach. As a result, she created a breathtaking iconography and interpreted the religious myth from her position as an artist, woman, black, and Latina in the late 20th century.

According to the curator of the exhibition: "There is no doubt that Belkis used this theme to build a universal discourse against marginalization, frustration, fear, censorship, impotence and in favor of the search for freedom ..."

Written by: Cristina Vives. Curator.