Carpentier in Barbados

Inspirazione Italiana performance photograph by Mario Porchetta photo by Mario Porchetta

Carpentier in Barbados
Art Installation, Video, Performance: Documentation and Visual Reconstruction of Undocumented Times
The Errol Barrow Center for Creative Imagination Art Gallery
The University of The West Indies
Cave Hill Campus, Barbados
March 22nd through May 13, 2013

Created by Leandro Soto
Mario Porchetta. Photographer
Grisel Pujalá. Curator

The renowned Cuban author and journalist Alejo Carpentier finished his famous novel Explosion in the Cathedral in Barbados between the years 1956 and 1958. An entire chapter of his novel takes place in Barbados, and his visits to the island were probably intended to research the Barbadian culture and landscape so as to structure the setting of his tale. During his visits, he also wrote a series of chronicles about different aspects of the life in the island.

Leandro Soto recreates the translation of Carpentier’s literary texts into visual images, as a creative act that demonstrates the cultural complexity of the Caribbean. The artist takes the role of the writer, conjuring the mythical relationship between imagination and everyday reality. The artworks and photographs shown in this exhibition are the visual testimonies of these translations which include the documentation of his performances.

Soto uses his own diasporic experience living in Barbados to search for and visit unique spots visited by Carpentier, while also taking notes about his impressions of the beauty of the landscape.

The show features various bodies of work based on a Kitsch aesthetic. It is intended as an open dialogue, not only with Alejo Carpentier’s narratives but also with the history of the Caribbean.