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Meira Marrero & José A. Toirac

Ave Maria


This play is a reflection on the (im)possibility of accepting diversity and the other. The fragmented body of the neoplasm—the fruit of unstable conditions—overcomes barriers, loves and denies itself and others, wanders around, forgetting its profession. It frequently and with pleasure divides, goes through dangerous palpation, questions the possibility of contact with the experience of the other. Poorly brought up but very successful, it invites us to a trans-species transition.

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Marrero and Toirac's installation, Ave Maria, features a long, horizontal board, which serves as a base for multiple representations of the Virgin of Charity obtained throughout Cuba and the United States. Carved into the board is the following quote by José Martí, considered the Apostle of Cuba: "Either the republic is based on the whole character of each one of its children...or the republic is not worth a single tear of our women nor a single drop of the blood of our brave men." By juxtaposing various images of the Virgin of Charity with Martí’s words, Marrero and Toirac write, "The work becomes an altar to diversity and a prayer for the unity of the Cuban family, for racial and social equality."

Curated by Alejandro De La Fuente


Queloides: Race & Racism in Cuban Contemporary Art, October 15, 2010 - February 27, 2011
About The Artist

Meira Marrero (Cuban, b. 1969) graduated with a degree in Art History from the University of Havana in 1992. She is a curator and art critic who has worked with José Ángel Toirac on many joint projects. Their collective work has been exhibited at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana, Cuba; the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; the Museé des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, Québec, Canada; the Arizona State University Art Museum in Tempe, Arizona; the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Geukens and De Vil Contemporary Art in Anvers, Belgium; the Factoría Compostela in Santiago de Compostela, Spain; the Cultural Centers Banco do Brasil in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia, Brazil; in addition to various fairs and biennials. She has lectured at important cultural and educational centers in Cuba and abroad and has written articles on Cuban contemporary art published in various specialized periodical publications. She has received the National Curatorship Award granted by the National Council of Visual Arts three times: first for the exhibition Mediations II (Habana Gallery, Havana, Cuba, 2002) in 2003; then for Orbis: Tribute to Walker Evans (National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana, Cuba, 2007) in 2008; and in 2014 for Mare Magnum, Mare Nostrum (Habana Gallery, Havana, Cuba, 2013). Additionally, she won the Curatorship Award for the project Jao Moch. Tribute to Antonia Eiriz, granted by the Provincial Center of Visual Arts and Design, Havana, Cuba, in 1998; and the Award of the American Association of Museums for the publication Contemporary Art from Cuba, a Guide to See, in 1998.

José A. Toirac (Cuban, b. 1966) studied and later taught at the Instituto Superior de Arte and has collaborated since 1994 with Meira Marrero (Cuban, b. 1969), a curator and art critic.

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