January 25, 2018

Roberto Diago
La Historia Recordada

Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, School of the Arts at the College of Charleston

Roberto Diago, Variaciones de Oggun, 2010. Mixed media, 78 13/4 x 59 1/16 inches. Cuidad en ascenso, 2010. Mixed media, dimensions vary. Courtesy of the artist and Magnan Metz Gallery.

Gallery Talk with Elvis Fuentes: January 20, 2pm
Fuentes is a scholar on Latin American Art and essayist for the exhibition.

Images of Cuba: January 23, 6pm
College of Charleston faculty and students share presentations on Cuba from their recent travels.

Race & Slavery in Cuba: Matthew Pettway: February 20, 6pm
Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs.

Curator-led exhibition tour: March 1, 6pm
Co-curator Katie McCampbell will lead members through the exhibition.

The work of Roberto Diago explores the roots and role of slavery in Cuban history and culture, offering a critical voice to the discourse on racism in Cuba. Exploring racism in Cuba—in what was formerly a plantation society—has generally been regarded as an act of resistance to the revolution, which ignored the issue in the interest of solidarity. But for Diago, as an Afro-Cuban artist, it cannot be ignored. Diago makes paintings and conceptual installations with found materials sourced from his neighborhood—bits of wood, plastic bottles, and rusty metals. These discarded materials are given new life and meaning by careful construction and juxtaposition, as Diago addresses both the visible and invisible strands of racial oppression in Cuba.

This exhibition will be part of a much larger college-wide interdisciplinary project with a focus on Cuba entitled Cuba en el Horizonte that will include special topics courses, lectures, and performances across departments of the College of Charleston. The Halsey Institute’s exhibition will be the focal point for this semester-long engagement with Cuban culture, politics, history, economics, and its potential future.

For more information on Cuba en el Horizonte, visit

In conjunction with the exhibition, Juan Carlos Alom’s 16mm black-and-white short film, Habana Solo (2000), will be shown in the Halsey Institute microcinema. Habana Solo is a multi-sensory portrait of the city of Havana, Cuba. The film features improvised musical solos by Cuban musicians tasked with translating the city they inhabit into sound. The musical solos are paired with abstracted footage of the city landscape, making palpable the very spirit and essence of Havana.

This exhibition is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. All artworks on loan are courtesy of the artist and Magnan Metz Gallery, New York.

Thank you!

An email with a confirmation link has been sent to the email address you entered. To complete your subscription, click this link.