Artists’ web talk session with General director KITAGAWA Fram vol.11 ‘Living on the island’
In this session, we have invited Yoan Capote, whose work has already been installed at the Kazusakawama Station. His piece was completed in front of the station, standing in the middle of the field. And you can see students from a nearby high school and locals on a walk watching it with interest and taking pictures.
Cuba is a small island country just like Japan. Yoan talked about the Coronavirus situation and the social aspects of Cuba that is economically blocked.
Yoan Capote, General Director Kitagawa Fram, Ichihara Art Mix Executive Committee
Director Fram Kitagawa (hereafter Director):
Thank you for your time today, Yoan.
How did you spend your time during this pandemic? And where do you live now?
Yoan Capote (hereafter Yoan):
I appreciate this opportunity today. I am in Havana, Cuba. We are not able to travel, living a very lonely life now. So I am very happy to talk to you today.
Cuba has been going through an extremely tough economic situation (the economic blockade by the U.S.) for a long time, and we are also deeply affected by the coronavirus.
In addition, the government had a strong control over logistics and transport, so we had to live a difficult life. Under this situation, I think there is a rebellious spirit existing among the Cuban people, trying to find a solution in some way.
I also re-started producing artworks in my studio with the assistants. Not being afraid of this pandemic, but everyone is going back to the society to work. Cuba is an island country. Therefore, once they restrict once international flights, we are not able to go abroad at all.
Although I can only make artworks in my studio, I am preparing for the exhibitions to be held in New York and London.
The logistics have been restrained as well, so it has been hard to get materials. The galleries in New York and London, where I am going to exhibit, are supporting my production. Thanks to them I can continue my work, hire assistants, and pay them salaries. I do not think this should stop.
Cuba has a long history of being isolated internationally. Therefore, we are used to be isolated mentally, but lives have been extremely strict without food, going through physical isolation due to the restrain of the logistics.
What do you think of the roles of art and artists?
There as many roles as there are people.
Of course, art reflects the situation and problems of society, but I would say the greatest strength of art is diversity. I think any reaction of the artists to any kind of situations is valuable. I do not think art has a certain role.
I agree with your idea.I think artists all around the world are expressing themselves in different ways.
There are some Cuban artists who take a political approach in production. I respect all kinds of approaches equally, no matter it is political or phycological. Now, the world has been influenced by the coronavirus, but I think art is something that should be made to face the future.
One Greek philosopher ever said, “art is forever.” It is important to create artworks under this situation, but I will think about the position of this situation in history.
The title of my upcoming exhibition is “Requiem”. Not only about the coronavirus but also war, hunger…now it has been the time to thinking about all kinds of pain. I am planning this exhibition for isolated souls and people who are suffering.
I am looking forward to seeing your exhibition.
It will start in London first, then go to New York.
Lastly, I would like to say I really love visit Japan again. I had some new ideas when I visited Japan, but haven’t shared with you yet.
Please let me know your new ideas. I watched a TV show about Cuba the other day, and now I really want to go to Cuba.
I will be your guide.
Artists’ web talk session with General director KITAGAWA Fram
vol.1 ‘Hope artists have in the midst of the coronavirus disease outbreak’
vol.2 ‘Communication between two distant places’
vol.3 ‘Beyond borders’
vol.4 ‘Small changes in the daily life of the artist’
vol.5 ‘Time difference of 12 hours’
vol.6 ’Online Photo Session?'
vol.7 ‘Possibilities of public spaces’
vol.8 ‘Changing artwork’
vol.9 ‘Longest summer vacation’
vol.10 ‘Entomological Souvenirs by Shuhei Ohno’