The first organic form in the universe included its own remnant. From the very beginning, human beings were
interested in recovering it almost in the form of a relic: bones to create tools, animal skins for habitats, ashes and
charcoal to draw. Throughout history, it remained a constant practice and concern until the arrival of the modern
consumer times, where mankind lost its interest in the waste it generated, as victim of abundance and profusion.
Consequently, the combination of population growth and bulimic consumption created a new phenomenon in
society: the invasion of waste.
For several decades now, we have been at what seems to be a point of no return: the things and phenomena
that surrounded us before seem to threaten us today in the ghostly form of recalcitrant remainders that does not
evaporate, or persists even after evaporation. The truth is that we live in a world of overflowing: of products
governed by programmed obsolescence, of waste of a versatile nature – some of which cannot even be
eliminated, like atomic waste-, of an accelerated and limitless system that generates information and images, of
traffic on a global scale like never before human beings had lived it; all this not without serious consequences
and domino effects for the planet.
Remnants, curated by Cuban-born and Paris-based curator Sara Alonso Gómez, brings together works by eight
international artists, who subtly, playfully or parabolically attempt to explore different strategies and mechanisms
of exclusion – geopolitical, economic, social, historical, aesthetic – through a wide but not exhaustive range of
experiences and proposals. The exhibition brings together recent works of Nazgol Ansarinia, Fatma
Bucak, Jenny Feal, Yornel Martínez, Ghaith Mofeed and Reyner Leyva Novo along with new site-specific works
by Elizabet Cerviño and Wilfredo Prieto.
Made specifically for the exhibition, the work of Wilfredo Prieto (Sancti Spíritus, Cuba, 1978) entitled Antipigeon
lines, anti-personnel lines (2018), deals with questions associated with power and with forms of control
and hierarchization that concern humans and nature, the internal and the external, the assimilated and the
excluded. This idea of exclusion and control is further accentuated in the autobiographical work Citizen of my
world (2018) by Ghaith Mofeed (Damascus, Syria, 1995). A new cartography originates, made by fabric and
tailor-sewing in order to reconfigure the existing world map so that it covers or diminishes the nations that
Syrians are not permitted to enter, while putting Syria at the center of this map. The feelings of uprootedness
and tearing, associated with the experience of departure, are also explained in Mattress from
the Mendings series (2010-2011) by the Iranian artist Nazgol Ansarinia (Tehran, 1979). This corpus of works is
composed of common household objects that show scars of interior traumas. The line as a demarcation and
excision element breaks through again to create new zones of tension where there are visibly saturated faults.
Absence as a subject “bursts into” Reynier Leyva Novo’s photos (Havana, Cuba, 1983) in which the artist
appropriates images of political leaders who marked the history of the 20th and 21st centuries – Francisco
Franco, Mao Zedong, Fidel Castro, and Donald Trump – most of the time from the position of authoritarianism.
By exploring the hidden or overlapping interstices of the past and the collective memory, the Cuban artist
produces new keys and guidelines for reading the images, thus giving the possibility of constructing a new
discourse, different from the national discourse, and revealing the possible inconsistencies of the so-called
Official History. For her part, Turkish artist Fatma Bucak (Istanbul, 1984) takes her own origins as her starting
point. As a member of the Kurdish minority in Turkey, she seeks to address the global conditions in which
repression, dispossession, migration and violence have significantly transformed human existence. In this
way, she displays a subtle and poetic sensibility in her work, through which she approaches the issues of border,
displacement and identity as in the case of her video Scouring the Press (2016), in which the artist appears
along with two other women kneeling in a rugged landscape, in front of basins in which Turkish newspapers are
Born in Eastern Cuba, Yornel Martínez (Manzanillo, Cuba, 1981) belongs to a generation of young Cuban
artists graduating from the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA). In his Atlas, a book-object composed of his own
painting rags, remnants of the pictorial process, makes possible to reconcile gesture and recycling. The object of
everyday life as a subject is also present in Jenny Feal’s The weight that counts (Havana, Cuba, 1991). A wall
clock, found in a second-hand market, now camouflaged in a performative figure beyond its performance
capacity, reveals a physical tension between the categories of weight and time: as time goes by, the clay dries
out and begins to fall off, gradually leaving the visible object behind. The nature of the artwork remains in the
gesture, in that lapse of time and movement that is ungraspable, almost imperceptible, and barely inaudible.
Fragility and subtlety are also of particular interest to Elizabet Cerviño (Manzanillo, Cuba, 1986). In her
site specific work Sigh in a niche she produces wax sculptures on a human scale in the form of condemned
bays, like mirrors without reflection, where a low sigh seems audible despite the silence. Emptiness and
nothingness are installed to give rise to a space of disturbing meditation.
The universe of the dysfunctional – that of rejected ideas, of discarded things and of decaying life forms – does
not make full sense unless it is within a random view of history, according to which everything that occured could
have happened differently. Cultural and artistic production today is presented as an enormous constellation of
signs coming from a heterogeneous space and time or, metaphorically, as a mountain of rubble, of which the
artist is an archaeologist in progress. The resulted forms, processes, actions and phenomena create a new kind
of refractory remnant that tries to escape any homogenization project. Kind of “exforms”, as the French curator
and critic Nicolas Bourriaud would call them, they become irreducible accidents of our time.
Sara Alonso Gómez
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About the Artists and Curator
Sara Alonso Gómez focuses on artistic expressions and manifestations of cultural resistance through her
curatorial practice, as a response to the model of globalization and the new forms of colonization present within
our societies today. From a transdisciplinary and transglobal perspective, she develops multimedia projects
establishing communicating vessels between different contexts and continents, and for doing so she created the
international platform ARTICHOK. Her exhibitions have been seen in prestigious institutions around the world
such as MNBA-Museum of Fine Arts in Havana (Cuba), MACBA-Museum of Contemporary Art in Buenos Aires
(Argentina), MAMRIO-Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), MEP-Maison Européenne de la
Photographie in Paris (France), Cneai-Centre national édition art image in Paris (France), CAB-Centre d’art
contemporain in Brussels (Belgium), Fundación Ludwig de Cuba, 14th Biennale of Lyon, among others. She has
also been a permanent guest curator of the Havana Biennial since 2009, bringing international projects to each
edition. In parallel to her activity as curator, Alonso Gómez is researcher and writer attached to the University of
Paris 7 Diderot (FR) and the University of Bern (CZ). In recent years, she has been working on the theme of
artistic disobedience and its possibilities of existence nowadays.
Born in 1979 in Tehran, Nazgol Ansarinia graduated from the London College of Communication in 2001 before
taking a Master of Fine Arts at the California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco in 2003. Select
exhibitions include: The Spark is You, Curated by Ziba Ardalan, 58th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2019)
(forthcoming); Starting from the Desert. Ecologies on the Edge, Yinchuan Biennale, Yinchuan, China (2018);
Only the morning bird, REDCAT, Los Angeles, CA, USA (2018); Demolishing buildings, buying waste, Green Art
Gallery, Dubai, UAE (2018); Women House, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C., USA
(2018); Fragments, Particles and the Mechanisms of Growth, KIOSK, Ghent, Belgium (2017); Women House,
Monnaie de Paris, Paris, France (2017); What We Know that We Don’t Know, KADIST, San Francisco, USA
(2017); Variable Dimensions, Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, Lisbon, Portugal (2017); The Eighth
Climate (What Does Art Do?), Gwangju Bienniale, Gwangju, Korea (2016); Paper Trail, Galleria Raffaella
Cortese, Milan, Italy (2016); Adventure of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915-2015, Whitechapel
Gallery, London (2015) and When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes at the CCA Wattis Institute for
Contemporary Arts and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (2012, 2013).
Born in Turkey in 1984, Fatma Bucak studied Philosophy at Istanbul University and History of Art and Etching in
Italy at the Albertina Academy of Fine Arts, before completing her MA in Photography at the Royal College of Art,
London. Solo exhibitions include: So as to find the strength to see, Merz Foundation, Torino, Italy (2018); Sticks
and Stones, Pi Artworks London, UK (2017); Damascus Rose, Harpe 45, Lausanne, Switzerland (2017); And
men turned their faces from there, Brown University David Winton Bell Gallery, USA (2016); Suggested place for
you to see it, Pori Art Museum, Finland (2016); Nothing is in its own place, Alberto Peola Gallery, Turin, Italy
(2015); Over a line, darkly, Artpace, San Antonio, Texas, USA (2015); I must say a word about fear, Castello di
Rivoli, Museum of Contemporary Art, Turin, Italy (2014); Yet an Other Story About the Fall, ARTER, Istanbul,
Turkey (2013). Major group exhibitions and screenings include: GIBCA – Goteborg International Biennial for
Contemporary Art (2017); Meeting Points 8: Both sides of the curtain – Mophradat, Beirut Art Center (2017); Lo
Specchio Concavo, BACO, Bergamo, Italy (2016); International Festival of Non-Fiction Film and Media, MoMA,
New York, USA (2015); Sights and Sounds: Turkey, Jewish Museum, NY, USA (2015); Art in General Screening
Programme, NY, USA (2014); Bloomberg New Contemporaries 13, ICA, London and Spike Island, Bristol, UK
(2013); Manifesta 9 - Parallel Events, Genk, Belgium (2012); Cairo Award, La Permanente Museum, Milan, Italy
(2011) and 54th Venice Biennale - Tese di San Cristoforo, Italy (2011).
Elizabet Cerviño (Manzanillo, 1986) lives and works in Havana. Her most recent solo shows include: Mónadas,
Galleria Continua, San Gimignano, Italy (2018); PAUSA, Micromuseo La Columna Callao, Lima, Peru (2017);
Hoguera, Red Miller Residency, Vermont, USA, (2015); Paisaje a 360°, Galería Villa Manuela, Havana, Cuba
(2014); Hálitos, Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales, Havana, Cuba (2013). Her work has been part of
group shows including Lille 3000, Gare Saint Sauveur, Lille, France, (2018); Cuba mi amor, Galleria Continua
Les Moulins, Paris, France, (2017); On the Horizon: Contemporary Cuban Art from the Jorge M. Pérez
Collection, Pérez Art Museum Miami, Miami, Florida, (2017); soy Cuba?, Palazzina dei Bagni Misteriosi, Milan,
Italy, (2017); South-South, Goodman Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa; Intersecciones: Havana/Portland,
Hoffman Gallery, Lewis & Clark College, Portland (2016); Nuevos Colores, Robert Miller Gallery, New York, New
York (2015); La Patria que vuela, House of Ergorn, Berlin, Germany, (2015); Detrás del muro, Shelley and
Donald Rubin Foundation, New York (2013).
Born in Havana in 1991, Jenny Feal graduated from the Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana in 2009
followed by diplomas at the École Supérieure d’Art et de Design Marseille - Méditerranée, Marseille, France and
École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts de Lyon in 2016. Recent exhibitions include Devant l’eau dormante,
le rêveur adhère au repos du monde, Maison des expositions de Ternand, Ternand, France (2018); Retour d’une
autre Amalia, ISBA, Besançon, France (2018); Rendez-vous, Centro de arte contemporáneo Wilfredo Lam,
Havana, Cuba (2018); On / O, Maison Européenne de la Photographie & Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris,
France (2017); Fondation Renaud Prize, ENSBA Lyon, Lyon, France (2016); L’Analfabeto, Citerne de la Villa
Médicis, Académie de France à Rome, Rome, Italie (2015); Night of the tumblr on fire, Niveau 1- Le point
Perché, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2014); and 11th Havana Biennal, 4ta Pragmática Pedagógica, Havana,
Cuba (2012). She lives and works between Lyon and Havana.
Born in Manzanillo, Cuba in 1981, Yornel Martínez graduated from the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) in 2007.
He has participated in the 6th Salon of Contemporary Cuban Art and in the XII Biennial of Havana as well as in
the Aichi Triennale, Nagoya, Japan. Selected recent solo and group exhibitions include: Mi mano derecha no
sabe lo que escribe mi mano izquierda, Biblioteca Nacional José Martí, Havana, Cuba (2016); Transhumance,
Beyond Cuban Horizons, CAB Art Center, Brussels, Belgium; Intersecciones:Havana/Portland, Hoffman Gallery,
Portland, USA; Nano, (Remake), Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales CDAV, Havana, Cuba; Puente
abierto, Galería Evolución, Lima, Perú; Line up, Galería La Acacia, Havana, Cuba; Poesía para ver. Expo de
poesía visual cubana, Casa de la Poesía, Havana, Cuba; Intervención en la librería, Librería Fayad Jamís. XII
Bienal de La Habana, Havana, Cuba; and El arte es nuestra última esperanza, Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona
Ghaith Mofeed was born in Damascus, Syria, and currently based in Tokyo, Japan perusing his studies in Art
and Cultural Heritage. His first solo exhibition The Value of a Cell was with Protocinema at 5533, Istanbul
(2015). He recently participated in a residency at Delfina Foundation in collaboration with Atassi Foundation,
London (2017-2018) and at Proyecto AMIL, Lima (2018).
Reynier Leyva Novo was born in Havana, Cuba in 1983. Select exhibitions include El peso de la muerte,
Galleria Continua, San Gimignano, Italy; El peso de la Historia, collateral show to the XII Havana Biennial,
Havana, Cuba; Siri Devi Khandavilli, Lisa Sette Gallery, Arizona, USA; and El polvo, la sangre, el sueño común,
Museum of Contemporary Art and Visual Culture of Umeå, Sweden. He has been invited to participate at the
Venice Biennale (Italy) and the Frestas Art Triennial (Brazil). His work is located in prestigious institutions such
as the National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana, Cuba; the Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York, USA; Hirshhorn
Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC, USA; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA; Fundación CIFOEuropa,
Spain and the Perez Art Museum (PAMM), Miami, USA.
Wilfredo Prieto studied at the Escuela Profesional de Artes Plásticas in Trinidad, from 1992 to 1996, followed
by the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA), Havana in 2002. He has held residencies at Headlands, San Francisco,
USA (2015); Gasworks, London, United Kingdom (2008); Le Grand Café, St. Nazaire, France (2007); John
Simon Guggenheim Foundation, New York, USA (2006) and the Kadist Art Foundation in Paris, France (2005).
His most important exhibitions include: System error, Museo de Arte contemporáneo del Zulia, Maracaibo,
Venezuela; Ping-pong grid, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, Cuba (2015); Speaking Badly about
Stones, S.M.A.K, Ghent, Belgium (2014); Leaving something to chance, Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, Mexico
City, Mexico (2012); Balancing the curve, HangarBiccoca, Milan, Italy (2012); Left/Right, Museo de Arte
Contemporáno de Vigo (Marco), Vigo, Spain (2011); Landscape with the fall of Icarus, Kunsthalle Lissabon,
Lisbon, Portugal (2011); Mountain, S.M.A.K., Ghent, Belgium (2008); A moment of silence, Artists Web Projects,
Dia Art Foundation, New York, USA (2007); Dead angle, Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, France (2006); Much ado
about nothing II, MUSAC, León, Spain (2005). Furthermore, his work has been part of biennials such as the 12th
Istanbul Biennial, Turkey (2011); the 54th and the 52nd Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy (2011 and 2007); the
11th Lyon Biennial, Lyon, France (2011); the XIth Bienal Internacional de Cuenca, Ecuador (2011); the 29th Sao
Paulo Biennale (2010); the XII, XI, X, VIII and VII Habana Biennials, Havana, Cuba (2015, 2012, 2009, 2003 and
2000) and the 1st Singapore Biennial (2006). He lives and works in Havana.
For more information, please contact the gallery at email@example.com or +971 4 346 9305