We are extremely proud to announce the participation of María Magdalena Campos-Pons & Neil Leonard in the Pavilion of Republic of Cuba, 55th International Art Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia, which takes place inside The National Archeological Museum located in Piazza San Marco in Venice. The commissioner of the Pavilion Miria Vicini, and international curators Jorge Fernández Torres, Director of Wifredo Lam Center for Contemporary Art in Havana and Giacomo Zaza, included Campos-Pons’ work in the exhibition which examines most important contemporary art practices and poetics by artists from Cuba, and reflects on the country’s past, present and future.
Campos-Pons/ Leonard’s work is a site- specific installation 53+1=54+1=55. Letter of the Year .The work presents a parallel to the grid of architecture and sound, old and new, always in motion, so typical of Cuban cities but also the cities around the world. The artists are using the structure of birdcages as metaphorical vessels to capture dreams. They become a repository of accumulation of facts, data and fragmented narratives captured by fleeting videos and rupture sounds, creating the mixture of both sonic and visual texture of urban Cuba, as the country evolves and the basic diversity of discourse changes in a dramatic and even theatrical way on the island, as well as in perceptions of the island from abroad.
Republic of Cuba Pavilion opening: May 31, 2013, 5:00 pm
Open to the public: June 1- November 24, 2013
Venue: National Archeological Museum, Piazza San Marco, Venice
María Magdalena Campos-Pons was born in 1959 in the Matanzas province of Cuba. Her work investigates complex topics of sexuality, race, family ties, exilic identity, colonialism, cultural heritage, and personal and collective memories. She was trained at the Escuela Nacional de Arte and the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana, and she did post graduate studies at Massachusetts College of Art. Campos-Pons was recipient of a Harvard Fellowship 93/94. Campos-Pons’ work was shown at numerous solo and group exhibitions, at the institutions such as the Indianapolis Museum of Art, IN; Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TN; Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, FL; MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada; Sackler Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; Newark Museum, Newark, NJ; TATE Liverpool, Liverpool, England; P.S.1 MoMA, Long Island City; MoMA New York, and Museum Boijmans van Beunigen in Rotterdam, among others. The artist was also featured in the exhibition Authentic/Ex-centric: Africa in and Out of Africa, as a part of the 49th Venice Biennial (2001). Campos-Pons has been the subject of numerous reviews and art publications. It is also included in several public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Art Institute of Chicago, the MFA Boston, De Cordova Museum, the Ludwig Forum for International Art in Germany, the Center for the Development of Visual Arts in Havana, Cuba, and The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK.
Neil Leonard is a prolific composer, performer, writer, and innovator in computer music and sound design. He has a long- standing career in working with visual artists, including María Magdalena Campos-Pons, with whom Leonard frequently collaborates since 1988. He has created sound for installations at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Kitchen, New York; The Seattle Art Museum; and Boston Museum of Fine Arts. His compositions have been performed at Carnegie Hall, Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Banff Festival for the Arts, and the International Computer Music Convention. Widely recognized as an expert in music for multimedia, Leonard has lectured internationally, at such locations as: Centro para la Difusion de la Musica Contemporanea, Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain; Conservatoria Nacional de Musica, Republica Dominicana; University of Puerto Rico, San Juan; and Theremin Center at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Moscow, Russia. He has published more than thirty articles for American National Biography (Oxford University Press), Electronic Musician, Computer Music Journal, Green Linnet, and Sire Records, and he was a contributing author for the History Channel’s documentary on the Smithsonian’s Save Our Sounds project. He has performed with artists including the Boston Ballet, Joanne Brackeen, Don Byron, Robin Eubanks, Uri Caine, Orlando Cachaito Lopez (Buena Vista Social Club), John Medeski, Vijay Iyer and a long list of others. Leonard is the Artistic Director of Berklee College of Music’s Interdisciplinary Arts Institute and Professor of Electronic Production and Design at Berklee. In 2011, Leonard received Berklee’s Distinguished Faculty Award. He is currently on the Fulbright Specialist Roster.