Cuban Performance Art: Carlos Martiel Delgado Sainz

Repeating Islands


I recently discovered a very interesting blog by Píter Ortega—Blog de Píter Ortega, a space dedicated to criticism of Cuban and international art—and I thoroughly enjoyed his review of performance artist Carlos Martiel. Ortega’s review—“El peso de una isla en el amor de un pueblo” [the weight of an island in the love of a country]—delves into Cuban performance art and the self-sacrificing (and sometimes, dangerous) nature of the work of Carlos Martiel Delgado Sainz (Havana, 1989).

Ortega describes Martiel’s work by explaining that his actions are particularly provocative by the bold manner in which he compromises his own physical and mental health, using as a point of departure “gestures that are grounded in self-flagellation and sacrifice as producers of meaning.” He explains that there is usually a time of development of the work in which the artist loses control of his body and its immediate future, subjecting…

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Author: Camara Dia Holloway

I am an art historian specializing in early twentieth century American art with particular focus on the history of photography, race and representation, and transatlantic modernist networks. I earned my PhD at Yale University in the History of Art Department. Besides my leadership role as the Founding Co-Director of the Association for Critical Race Art History (ACRAH), I am recognized for my expertise on African American Art, particularly African American Photography, and as a seasoned consultant for exhibitions, museum collections, and symposia/lectures planning.

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