Presentation and interview Wilfredo Prieto

June 6, 2013, 8:00 p.m.

Language: English

Admission free, reservations through:

Together with visual artist and researcher Paula Salas SMBA has organized an artist talk and an interview with Wilfredo Prieto, one of the participating artists in the current exhibition The Right to the City. The interview will be preceded by a brief introduction by guest curator Madelon van Schie.

As a nomadic artist active in various parts of the world Prieto has developed a visual idiom that coincides with an international artistic language. Although his work can sometimes still be connected to a local Cuban background, one can perceive a trend towards a more universally bound idiom in his art. How does Prieto manage to preserve his ‘signature’? And what strategies does he use to address local or global issues in ways that are meaningful for the specific communities that relate to his works? These are some questions that will be raised during the interview.

Prieto’s work can be described as minimal, clever, humorous and poetic. Supported in many cases by imaginative titles, his work is always about the idea behind the visual corpus. Whether his work is an installation, sculpture, drawing or intervention, it is usually created with minimal effort. Sometimes the work seemingly originates in a child’s mind or is based on everyday thoughts, while in other cases it stems from political or social engagement. The Right to the City for example presents Prieto’s Mies van der Rohe’s house with a music session by El Micha (2012). This is an installation with music in which the strict and intellectual architectural shape of a building in Mexico City, built with Bauhaus ideals in mind, is altered and softened by the popular and warm character of reggaeton. The combination evokes reflection about the influence of popular culture on highbrow urban design or on the urban experience in general.

Wilfredo Prieto (1978, Cuba) lives and works in Havana and New York. He studied at the Instituto Superior de Arte, Havana, and has held residencies at Gasworks in London, the Kadist Art Foundation in Paris and other institutions. His recent solo exhibitions include ‘Leaving something to chance’ at Sala de Arte Publico Siqueiros in Mexico City, Mexico (2012) and ‘Equilibrando la curva’ at HangarBicocca, Milan (2012). In 2014 he will have a solo exhibition in S.M.A.K. in Ghent, Belgium. Recent group exhibitions include ‘Primer acto: Inauguración’, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico (2012) and ‘about: blank’, Ausstellungshalle Muenster, Munster, Germany (2012).

Paula Salas (1982, Chile) took a BA in Fine Arts at the PUC, a university in Chile, and completed an academic certificate in Cinema Aesthetic at the same institution. In 2012 Salas finished the Artistic Research MA at the University of Amsterdam. Since 2006 she has been showing her work in collective exhibitions and festivals including ‘Cabeza de Ratón: III Concurso de Arte Joven’ at the Visual Arts Museum MAVI, Santiago, Chile (2008), ‘BIOPODER’, Vértice gallery, Lima, Peru (2010) and the European Media Art Festival (EMAF), Osnabrück, Germany (2009). She has also had several solo shows, such as ‘Agua corriente’, Metropolitan Gallery, Santiago, Chile (2007) and ‘Cochinilla’, Stuart Gallery, Santiago, Chile (2010).