“I am the instrument that people might play” – Participation and Collaboration in Contemporary Art from Havana
In my paper I will focus on the relational art projects of René Francisco Rodriguez, a Cuban artist and professor at the Instituto Superior de Arte, living and working in Havana. Cuba, its special political and economic situation and the social process it produces, are the point of departure for the artist, while at the same time his oeuvre is widely perceived outside the island.
In his art projects René Francisco Rodriguez leaves the studio with the intention to participate in the life of Havana’s people, engage in a kind of anthropological fieldwork and make art inspired by contact and collaboration. In this article I will give an account of his project “Agua Benita” (2008), realized in one of the urban districts of Havana, in direct contact with its inhabitants. The paper will contribute to the question about entanglement and borders between relational art and other social approaches and relations to people, like anthropological research as well as social and political engagement.
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