Pretending to be a Fool

May 6 – July 15, 2017

Pretending to be a Fool

Eduardo Abela, Sandra Ramos, Lázaro Saavedra, José Toirac

One of the most important exponents from the Republican period was, without a doubt, Eduardo Abela, who throughout his career was incredibly active in both his social and political life. He created the character “El Bobo” (the fool) at the peak of one of the most critical moments in the transformation of the Cuban nation – the second term of Gerardo Machado (1929 until the overturn of 1933) as a way to dedicate himself to the political battle. Thus, he is recognized as a prime example of the role which artists of that period conferred to art as a tool to stimulate social and political transformation.

It is exactly through the use of Abela’s character El Bobo (The Fool), that we call attention in this exhibit “Hacerse el Bobo” (Pretending to be a Fool) to the importance of art history for current creative processes, as well as to the influence that historical codices exert on contemporary art. Specifically through their appropriation of Abela’s character, Cuban contemporary artists fill their work with meaning, and demonstrate that art is not just immune to the passage of time, but is also resistant to political changes: the use of appropriation in its current context, gives a new dimension to the original meaning. With “Hacerse el Bobo” (Pretending to be a Fool) not only we pay tribute to the Republic, but art itself is exalted through one of its most valuable weapons: that of accessing the past to re-interpret the present.

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