Houston, TX – Houston Center for Photography (HCP) is proud to participate in FotoFest 2010. The FotoFest Biennial, the longest running international biennial of photography, brings together photographers, curators, publishers, gallerists, and photography specialists from around the globe to share work and exchange ideas about photography.
HCP’s Main Gallery features first generation Cuban-American Anthony Goicolea's Related. The artist strings together a complex series of dialectics denoting the Cuban-American experience of assimilation and desire to maintain ancestral histories. The focal point for this body of work is Goicolea’s family: four generations of Cubans who fled for the U.S. in 1961. They exited their country with little more than photographs – studio portraits of relatives in their prime, wearing their Sunday best.
Comprised of mixed media installations and including portraits, environmental portraits situated in his family’s adopted U.S. environment, and landscape/architectural studies based upon Goicolea’s recent trip to Cuba, Related intersects vernacular studio photography with fine art, thereby moving beyond the traditional definitions of photography and notions of authorship. Using these techniques, Goicolea challenges the viewer to navigate within a language of ancestral references and unearth metaphors about his cultural experience which are embedded in each layer of his artistic process.
Using his family’s studio portraits as source material, Goicolea re-creates ties to his ancestors by forming a series of binaries that reference film-based wet photographic processes by re-drawing the portraits in negative and photographing them in positive. Following, Goicolea posts these images on telephone poles and trees amidst his family’s new environs
in the southern U.S. It’s there that Goicolea’s experience of cultural dislocation manifests itself in the form of wanted ads or missing posters.
In 2008, the artist navigated his ancestral homeland using rough maps drawn by his family; he was the first of his relatives to visit Cuba since their 1961 departure. Goicolea’s photographs of Cuban landmarks in various stages of decay are altered by his drawings to suggest architecture of the past or metaphysical constructions. In Day for Night, a mixed media piece featuring a dilapidated art school on the outskirts of Havana, Goicolea once again plays with the inversion of source imagery. The darkly painted sky contains trajectories of hurricanes that passed through Cuba since 1961.
Anthony Goicolea (b. 1971) is a first generation Cuban-American artist living in Brooklyn, NY who works in photography, video, sculpture and drawing. He became internationally known for his complex, staged tableaux of pre-pubescent boys, which featured multiples of the artist himself. Following his self-portrait work, the artist created constructed landscapes, which led to the series Sheltered and Almost Safe, the latter of which was featured in HCP’s spot magazine in 2007. Goicolea’s work has been in numerous solo and group exhibitions at institutions including the Guggenheim (New York, NY – forthcoming in March, 2010), Brooklyn Museum of Art (Brooklyn, NY), Mass MoCA (North Adams, MA), The Groninger Museum (The Netherlands), the Centre for Contemporary Photography (Melbourne, Australia) The Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago, IL), and the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2005, he received the BMW-Paris Photo Award for Photography. Goicolea’s third monograph, Fictions, debuted by Twin Palms/Twelve Trees Press in 2009. He is represented by Postmasters Gallery (New York, NY), Haunch of Venison (London, UK) and Aurel Scheibler, (Berlin, DE).
Anthony Goicolea, Related 2008
Courtesy of the artist and Aurel Scheibler (Berlin)
Anthony Goicolea’s Related is curated by Madeline Yale, HCP’s Adjunct Curator and former Executive Director/Curator from 2006-9. The exhibition is generously supported by Southern Union, Co. and the Eleanor and Frank Freed Foundation.