COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 26, 2022) — The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College (FAC) is pleased to present “Diago: The Pasts of this Afro-Cuban Present,” on view from Feb. 11–July 2, 2022.
“Diago: The Pasts of this Afro-Cuban Present” is the first retrospective exhibition of prominent Cuban artist Juan Roberto Diago (b. 1971), offering a critical and selective view of over two decades of work. It traces his singular efforts to construct new pasts to explain the racial tensions of contemporary Cuba. The exhibition features 22 artworks of mixed media and installation art that span Diago’s vibrant career, from the mid-1990s–2019.
A leading member of the new Afro-Cuban cultural movement, Diago has produced a body of work that offers a revisionist history of the Cuban nation. His “history,” a term that he frequently inserts in his works using the visual language of graffiti, is not the official narrative of a racially harmonious nation built by the selfless efforts of generous white patriots. Diago’s Cuba is a nation built on pain, rape, greed, and the enslavement of millions of displaced Africans, a nation still grappling with the long-term effects of slavery and colonialism. To him, slavery is not the past, but a daily experience of racism and discrimination. Africa is not a root, but a wellspring of cultural renovation and personal affirmation, the ancestors that sustain him in his journey.
“‘Diago: The Pasts of this Afro-Cuban Present’ is an exciting and thoughtful overview of an important Cuban artist who is challenging the official narratives about race in Cuba, an important conversation that resonates with the US context. We are thrilled to be able to present this project at the FAC Museum,” said Michael Christiano, Visual Arts & Museum Director.
The exhibition is curated by Dr. Alejandro de la Fuente, Director of the Afro-Latin American Research Institute at Harvard University. Accompanying the exhibition is a catalog that offers a critical selection of Diago’s work dating back to the beginning of his career. Authored by de la Fuente, the volume was published by the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art at Harvard and is being distributed by Harvard University Press. It will be available for purchase in the Ladyfingers at the FAC shop.
Diago: In Conversation
Friday, Apr. 15, at 6 p.m.
Please join us for a roundtable conversation with Juan Roberto Diago, Alejandro de la Fuente, Director of the Afro-Latin American Research Institute at Harvard University, and Andrea Herrera, Professor of Literature and Women’s and Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.
VISIT THE FAC MUSEUM
Museum free days are offered the second Saturday and third Friday of each month.
COVID-19 risk mitigation is in effect—For the latest information on COVID guidelines and requirements, visit the FAC website.
The FAC’s restaurant, bar and tactile gallery remain closed at this time. The Ladyfingers at the FAC shop is open during regular museum hours with hand-made, locally-sourced and inclusive goods paired with a selection of items designed to expand and enrich your FAC experience.
PLEASE NOTE: Exposure to COVID-19 is possible in public places. The FAC and Colorado College continue to closely monitor developments in the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and plan for impacts that may affect FAC and campus operations. More information available on the Colorado College website.
ABOUT THE FINE ARTS CENTER MUSEUM
The FAC Museum’s permanent collection of over 15,000 objects showcases the rich history and vibrant contemporary cultures of the Southwest and the Americas, containing works of art from Native America, Hispanic and Spanish Colonial New Mexico, and 20th and 21st-century America.
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College
The story of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College (FAC) began with the founding of the Broadmoor Art Academy 1919. A museum, performing arts theatre, and community art school, the FAC is a pillar in the cultural community of the Rocky Mountain West providing innovative, educational, and multi-disciplinary arts experiences designed to elevate the individual spirit and inspire community vitality. The FAC and Colorado College recognize and honor the original inhabitants of the land on which it resides. For more information about the FAC, visit fac.coloradocollege.edu or follow on Facebook @CSFineArtsCenter.