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Marta María Pérez-Bravo



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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Nunc at arcu sodales nisi porta euismod non vel neque. Phasellus at lobortis ante, in suscipit justo. Proin non purus vitae nisi molestie consectetur. Vestibulum volutpat lobortis interdum. Vestibulum pretium ligula lorem, egestas ultricies lectus ultricies ac. Curabitur venenatis vulputate dolor.

The presence of the work of Marta María Pérez in a show like Queloides prompts one to problematize, without disparaging, the discourse on race reflected in the very project of this show, as well as the discourses that have been developed on the work of this artist. If any question is essential to the work of Marta María, it is one that has to do with the body and not with the color of the skin, since her work refers fundamentally to the impact of the sacred on her own aesthetic, psychological, and affective universe, represented by her own body. Nevertheless, an analysis of the representation of the body, which takes into account the social and political conditions that affect it, must also consider its racial aspect. In this context, two questions regarding the work of Marta María Pérez have been left unanswered: What does it mean that the artist who has introduced the figurative elements of Afro-Cuban symbolism to postmodern photography is white? And what ideological shadings color the perception of Afro-Cuban culture when it is seen through representations that are put into play by the photographs of Marta María Pérez?

Whatever the answers to these questions might be, they should take into account a crucial point: Afro-Cuban culture is not something that concerns only blacks, nor is it something that should be discussed only from the perspective, inevitably contestatory, of Afro-Cubans themselves. Consistent with this premise, on the one hand, the racial inscriptions in the work of Marta María Pérez are legitimate. But on the other hand, it is impossible to read those inscriptions in isolation. The centrality of the body in these works problematizes not only the racial references but also, for example, the references that point to sexuality and questions of gender.

The contributions of Marta María to the representations of the female body, or the feminine being, created a rupture in Cuban photography at the time, introducing a perspective on gender that would be difficult to imagine in Cuba before the 1980s. But the particularity of her focus on gender (from a classic work like "Para concebir", "To Conceive") until today, has also been conditioned and contextualized by mythological narratives, symbolic interchanges, rituals, and by the centrality of mystery and magic - elements which are not necessarily reducible to the particular universe of Afro-Cuban religions.

The imagery of the photographs of Marta María Pérez is revealed through the synthesis of the sacred and the erotic elements of the aesthetic experience. That synthesis points to the spiritual dimension of her artistic project, a theme that should no longer seem marginal in the language of contemporary photography. - Juan Antonia Molina

Curated by Alejandro De La Fuente


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

Marta María Pérez-Bravo studied at the Instituto Superior de Arte and later at the Academia de Artes Plásticas “San Alejandro,” both in Havana and is best known for her small format black and white photography. Central to Pérez Bravo’s photographs are the beliefs of Santería, an Afro-Caribbean religion that combines the Yoruba religion (brought to the Caribbean by slaves imported to work on sugar plantations) with Roman Catholic and Native Indian traditions. Santería teaches that spiritual power exists in all things, even everyday objects. Thus, Bravo seeks to convey through her photography the divine nature of all things—from familiar objects like rope and branches to her own body.

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Kini Kini


They Are Not Mine Series

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Kini Kini

Seven Oaths

They Are Not Mine Series





Black Marat

Orange Pants



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