Lydia Cabrera and Édouard Glissant: Trembling Thinking is an exhibition that focuses on the ideas developed by the prominent Caribbean thinkers Lydia Cabrera (Havana, 1899-Miami, 1991) and Édouard Glissant (Sainte-Marie, Martinique, 1928-Paris, 2011). The exhibition presents modern and contemporary artists whose works respond to Cabrera and Glissant’s notions of literary ethnography, difference, opacity, and cultural multiplicity.
“Édouard Glissant was one of the most important writers and philosophers of our time. He called attention to means of global exchange that do not homogenize culture but produce a difference from which new things can emerge,” said Hans Ulrich Obrist. “His poems, novels, plays, and theoretical essays are a ‘toolbox’ I use every day in my praxis as an exhibition curator.”
“Lydia Cabrera not only pioneered the study of Afro Cuban traditions, which is a fundamental path for understanding the history and culture of the Caribbean, but examined its various creolizations,” commented Gabriela Rangel. “Cabrera was a self-taught polymath who should be paired to Glissant and who understood José Marti’s idea of the archipelago as a passage to the crossroads of the world. Trained as an artist in Paris in the 1920s, Cabrera’s mastering of ethnographical storytelling requests to be revisited by both artists and social scientists as anticipatory of the role of subjectivity vis-a-vis documentary truth.”
Lydia Cabrera reading, 1925. Cuban Heritage Collection at the University of Miami Libraries, Coral Gables, Florida.
Wifredo Lam, Retrato de Lydia Cabrera (Portrait of Lydia Cabrera), 1940s. Oil on canvas board. 8.75 x 7.38 inches; 22.2 x 18.7 cm. University of Miami, Lowe Art Museum. Bequest of Lydia Cabrera, 91.0295.18. © 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.
Mestre Didi (Deoscoredes Maximiliano dos Santos), EJO AWURU—Serpente da madrugada, 1980s. Palm frond, painted leather, shells, and beads. 11¾ x 22¾ x 5⅞ inches; 30 x 68 x 15 cm. Photo: Andrew Kemp. Courtesy of Almeida & Dale Galeria de Arte, São Paulo.
Etel Adnan, Hommage à Édouard Glissant, 2014. Paper. 13 x 4¾ x ¾ inches; 33 x 12 x 2 cm. Private Collection. Photo: Arturo Sanchez
Édward Glissant, Mounsieur Toussaint: A Play. Washington: Three Continents Press, 2005. Dedicated book. 9 x 6 inches; 22.86 x 15.24 cm. Photo: Arturo Sánchez.
Édouard Glissant, Poèmes Complets. Paris: Gallimard: 1994. Dedicated book. 8.13 x 5.5 inches; 20.7 x 13.97 cm. Photo: Arturo Sánchez.
Wifredo Lam, Homenaje a Jicotea (Homage to Jicotea), ca. 1943. Ink and colored pencil on tracing paper. 6¾ x 8¼ inches; 17.1 x 21 cm. University of Miami, Lowe Art Museum. Bequest of Lydia Cabrera, 91.0295.12. © 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.
Matta, Untitled, circa 1938. Colored wax crayon and pencil on paper, 12.5 x 19.4 inches; 31.75 x 49.28 cm. Private collection.
Matta, Morfologia Psicologica Del Ataque, 1939. Graphite and crayon on paper, 22.6 x 28.6 inches; 57.5 x 72.7 cm. Private collection.
Amelia Peláez, Mujer con pez (Woman with Fish), 1948. Oil on canvas. 51 3/4 x 40 inches; 131.4 x 101.6 cm. Isaac and Betty Rudman Trust.
Julie Mehretu, Topoglyph (Mutation), 2015. Ink and acrylic on canvas. 30 x 40 inches; 76.2 x 101.6 cm. Private Collection. Photo: Tom Powel Imaging. Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York. © Julie Mehretu.
Manthia Diawara. Édouard Glissant: Poèmes complets, 2017. Video; color, sound, 26:45 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.
Asad Raza, Untitled (Q.M. II), 2009. Inkjet pigment print. 43¼ x 27⅝ inches; 110 x 70 cm. Courtesy of Kathrin Jira.
Tania Bruguera, Destierro (Displacement), 1998 [2005 version]. Cuban earth, glue, wood, nails, and textile. Variable dimensions. Courtesy of the artist.
Antonio Seguí, Salir corriendo, 2012. Acrylic on canvas. 57⅜ x 44¾ inches; 146 x 114 cm. Courtesy of Durban Segnini Gallery, Miami. © 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.
Lydia Cabrera and Édouard Glissant: Trembling Thinking is organized in partnership with the Cuban Heritage Collection of the University of Miami and curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist (Artistic Director of the Serpentine Galleries, London), Gabriela RangeI (Chief Curator and Director of Visual Arts, Americas Society), and Asad Raza (Artist) with the assistance of Diana Flatto (Assistant Curator, Americas Society),
Images courtesy Americas Society.