Inhabited : Alejandro Alonso, Alejandro Campins, Laura Carralero, Osvaldo González, Luis E. López-Chávez, José M. Mesías, Linet Sánchez, Ezequiel O. Suárez, Infraestudio

3 December 2023 - 2 February 2024

Bode is pleased to present INHABITED, a group exhibition of Alejandro Alonso, Alejandro Campins, Laura Carralero, Osvaldo González, Luis E. López-Chávez, José M. Mesías, Linet Sánchez, Ezequiel O. Suárez, Infraestudio, curated by Liatna Rodríguez in Havana. 


How to define a space? Is what we call a country, city, house or room a habitable space? What would it be like to inhabit those spaces? In INHABITED nine contemporary Cuban artists, working in painting, installation, photography, and video, aim to show the relationship of the visual arts with what we inhabit and with what we do not inhabit. Each of them is moved by a concern, quite common within the Cuban arts: the problem of emptiness, of nothingness, of absence, loneliness and ruin, – all coming together in a voice that contradicts itself saying that what is habitable is, at the same time, that what uninhabits us. In INHABITED the ruined physical space is represented as a moment of deep pain. Likewise, the motives of “nothing” or “emptiness” is recurrent in Cuban visual arts, and seeks to activate in the viewer the recognition of a national reality that swallows and suffocates them. INHABITED also speaks of departure and absence, of everything that generates the weight of a reality that dislocates. Cuba today is experiencing the largest exodus its history has ever known. This generates an enormous void, a nothingness that finds “space” within the reality of an empty country, a city, a house or a room, and that is reflected in the works of the artists who gather in INHABITED. 




Alejandro Alonso (b. 1987, Pinar del Río, CU) is an experimental and documentary filmmaker of independent non-fiction, representing so-called “new Cuban cinema”. The cornerstone of Alonso’s work seems to be the recognition of the substances that connect man with spaces; hence, his creative process is based on the devices of estrangement and discovery. For Alonso, it is essential to remain in a state of question to the extent that it is the spaces, and the people who inhabit and configure them, who carry the linguistic keys for the aesthetic treatment of the pieces. His great success will be, however, to telegraph to this “other side” the substrates of a world that remains hidden under the uniform fabric of reality. The artist graduated in Documentary Direction from Escuela Internacional de Cine y Televisión (EICTV) in Havana, CU. The artist’s documentary The Farewell (2014) won Best Documentary Prize at Gibara Film Festival in Havana, CU. His feature documentary, The Project (2017), was awarded the FIPRESCI Prize at DOK Leipzig, DE; and Terranova (2021) won the Ammodo Tiger Short Award in Rotterdam, NL. During 2017 and 2019, he coordinated the Alternative Cinema Master programme at EICTV. Alejandro Alonso Estrella lives and works in Madrid, ES.


Alejandro Campins (b. 1981, Manzanillo, CU) avoids everything capable of anchoring his painting to an eminently narrative alibi, like the explicit presence of the human being, or the architectural details. In his landscapes one can find a certain essential substrate that continues to account for a world outside of man and his history. As a result those who look at the painting are unable to locate themselves in time and space. Campins graduated from "El Alba" Academy of Fine Arts in Holguin, CU and the Higher Institute of Arts in Havana, CU. He was part of the Cuban Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale and of the 13th Havana Biennial. His work have been featured at solo exhibitions at Galleria Continua, San Gimignano, IT; Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, IT; Wasserman Projects, Detroit, MI, US; and Sean Kelly Gallery, New York, NY, US. The artist has participated at group exhibitions, including at Fondation Clément, Martinique, FR; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, US; Ludwig Forum fur Internationale Kunst, Aachen, DE; Center for Contemporary Art, Leipzig, DE; Singer Museum, Laren, NL; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, US; The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York, NY, US; MDC Museum of Art and Design, Miami, FL, US; CAB Art Center, Brussels, BE. His work is part of international collections, e.g. Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, IT; National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana, CU; Voorlinden Museum, Wassenaar, NL; Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, FR; Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH, US; Daros – Latinamerica Collection, Zurich, CH; Jorge Pérez Collection, Miami, FL, US. Alejandro Campins lives and works between Havana, CU and Madrid, ES.


Laura Carralero (b. 1991, Havana, CU) establishes the links between painting and architecture, between spaces and their representation. Over time, the artist has turned to medieval painting in search of the tools that allow her not only to generate dislocation and uncertainty, but also to present her architectural scenes as fragments of something larger. Resources such as inverse perspective, which breaks with the principle of depth, and the allegorical handling of light and color make it related to metaphysical painting and surrealism. Carralero uses the instrumental nature of Gothic and Byzantine art to penetrate a mysticism that contemporary art has ceased to be interested in. Carralero has graduated from "El Alba" Professional Academy of Fine Arts in Holguin, CU and the Higher Institute of Arts (ISA) in Havana, CU. Her works has been presented in solo exhibitions at Mai 36 Galerie, Zürich, CH; Galerie Vera Munro, Hamburg, DE; Palacio de Lombilllo, Havana, CU; Galería Carmelo González, Havana, CU; Casa de la Cultura, Holguín, CU, among others. The artist has participated at group shows at Art Basel Miami, FL, US; Mai 36 Galerie, Zürich, CH; Fundación Ludwig de Cuba, Havana, CU, Galería del ISA, Havana, CU; Galería del Pabellón Cuba, Havana, CU. Laura Carralero lives and works in Havana, CU.


Osvaldo González (b. 1982, Camagüey, CU) is interested in two constituent elements: space and representation. At a certain point both become one and the same thing, to the extent that the former is constructed and semanticized through the individual language of memory and emotional ties. The setting of González’s work is located in the indeterminate coordinates of experience and time. The treatment of light, the contained nature of the scenes and their predictive or reminiscent capacity, the positioning, always in flight of the author’s gaze are notable as well. Even in the stillness of the empty room, something reverberates in the artist's pieces as an inescapable certainty: the sensation of participating in a moment that never returns. González graduated from the Higher Institute of Art in Havana, CU. His body of work has been presented at a number of solo shows, including at the 11th Havana Biennial in Havana, CU; Temas Aislados (2010, Tenuta Casenuove, IT; Galleria Continua, San Gimignano, IT; NC-Arte, Bogotá, CO; Galería Servando, Havana, HU; Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales, Havana, CU; Galería Luz y Suárez del Villar, Madrid, ES; and Galería Guayasamín, Havana, CU. His work has been part of group exhibitions at Galleria Continua, Paris, FR and Havana, CU); Palazzina dei Bagni Misteriosi, Milan, IT; Museo Farmacia Johnson, Havana, CU; Raymaluz Gallery, Madrid, ES; and Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam, Havana, CU. In 2018 González participated at "Residency Unlimited" program of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund in New York, NY, US; and won the Acquisition Award for Best Emerging Artist at Zona Maco, Mexico City, MX. Osvaldo González lives and works in Havana, CU.


Luis E. López-Chávez (b. 1988, Manzanillo, CU) creates works crossed by unavoidable references to the universes of literature, philosophy and cinema. This conceptual painter is known for a profound research that he deploys within his work, e.g. the series that orbit the themes of emptiness, the archeology of memory, the categorical relationships between form and content. López-Chávez’s work moves from painting to installation, from installation to video, from video to object production based on expressive needs that transcend the mandates of the medial imperative. Regarding these displacements, the artist himself has pointed out his express distancing from a certain disciplinary mythology that, ultimately, ends up imposing itself over the unintelligible substrate of art. López-Chávez graduated from the Academia Profesional de Artes Plásticas in Manzanillo, CU and from the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana, CU. In 2012, he received a scholarship from the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm, SE; and also participated at the 12th Havana Biennial, Havana, CU. López-Chávez’ work have been featured in several solo exhibitions at Unión Nacional de Arquitectos e Ingenieros de la Construcción de Cuba, Havana, CU; Galería El Apartamento, Havana, CU; Galería Servando, Havana, CU; Museo Droguería Johnson, Havana, CU; Galería Evolución, Lima, PE. He has participated at numerous group shows, including at Bode, Havana, CU and Berlin, DE; Galleria Continua, Paris, FR, and São Paulo, BR; Palazzina dei Bagni Misteriosi-Teatro Franco Parenti, Milan, IT; Le CENTQUATRE-PARIS, Paris, FR; UNAICC Unión Nacional de Arquitectos e Ingenieros de la Construcción de Cuba, Havana, CU; Galería Evolución, Lima, PE; Centro Hispanoamericano de Cultura, Havana, CU, The Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, SE. Luis López-Chavez lives and works in Havana, CU.


José M. Mesías (b. 1990, Havana, CU) once said that the fundamental operation of his work is always the same: “see, collect, classify, intervene or not intervene in the objects, show a new aspect of reality”. Indeed, his fixation on individual and collective memory, his interest in the domestic, fragmentary or random contents of the archive, are part of a symptomatology of expectation that sees chance as the best way to concatenate isolated signs. This allows Mesías to escape semantic exhaustion and begin to construct meanings where there would seem to be only waste. As the center of his poetics is not medial but linguistic, the artist develops purely conceptual processes that can be embodied through painting, installation, object work or words. Mesías graduated from the National Academy of Fine Arts "San Alejandro" in Havana, CU. He has obtained residency scholarships at Akita University of Art in Akita, JP (2018); Azkuna Zentroa - Artist x Artist Residency Program in Bilbao, ES (2017); at Instituto Superior de Arte and the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, CO (2013). He had solo exhibitions at Bode, Berlin, DE; the 13th Havana Biennial, at Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales; Art Dubai, Dubai, AE; Factoría Habana, Havana, CU; Mindy Solomon Gallery, Maiami, FL, US; Centro Provincial de Artes Plásticas and Diseño Luz y Oficios, Havana, CU, among others. Mesías has participated in group exhibitions at the National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana, CU; Galleria Continua, Les Moulins, FR; Spiral Garden, Tokyo, JP; Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam, Havana, CU; Azkuna Zentroa, Bilbao, ES; Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales, Havana, CU), among others. José Manuel Mesías lives and works in Havana, CU.


Linet Sánchez (b. 1989, Villa Clara, CU) is professor at the San Alejandro Professional Academy of Fine Arts in Havana, CU. The operation behind her pieces seems simple: construct architectural voids that the viewer will then provide with meaning based on the ability to unroll the sheet of personal memory. But this is only the tip of the iceberg, as there are no safe ways to inhabit the past, and because Linet abandons us to our own fate in the very anteroom of the representational void. In one of the interviews, the artist said that this interest in solitary spaces comes from her childhood memories, especially of her ballet classes and the image of the empty stage. She also speaks of the propensity for the loop of reconstruction, an exercise without beginning or end, which inevitably tends towards loneliness and isolation. Sánchez graduated from the University of Arts, Havana, CU and also studied at the Leopoldo Romañach Professional Academy of Fine Arts in Havana, CU. She participated at the art residencies at El Espacio 23 in Miami, FL, US, and at FLORA ars+natura Residency in Bogotá, CO.; and received FotoFest Scholarship, Houston, TX, US. Sánchez has presented her body of works at numerous solo and group exhibitions, including at Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam, NL; Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans, LA, US; and Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, FL, US; CC Mechelen, Mechelen, BE; Rostrum Gallery, Malmö, SE; Foto Museo Cuatro Caminos, México City, MX; The Annemberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles, CA, US; Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Center, Havana, CU. Lines Sánchez currently works and lives Havana, CU.


Ezequiel O. Suárez (b. 1967, Jagüey Grande, CU) is co-founder and curator of Espacio Aglutinador, supporting independent art in Cuba. The artist develops a work debated between the conceptual and the poetic, between linguistic disassembly and accidentality, between playful irony and a purposeful essentiality that operates as a wake-up call or reminder. His work moves between painting, drawing, installation, collage, photography and the sculptural object. About an unavoidable political component that accompanies his work, it was said: “The fact of ignoring the great story and going directly to its details, a dog or a car or some other gap within the landscape is, more than a conceptual gesture, a political gesture”. Suárez graduated from Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes San Alejandro in Havana, CU. The artist has participated at various solo and group exhibitions, including at Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI, US; El Apartamento, Havana, CU; Galleria Taller Gorria, Havana, CU. His works are part of the collection of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, CU; The Patchett Collection, Los Angeles, CA, US; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, ES; and of private collections in Spain, France, Belgium, USA. Ezequiel O. Suárez lives and works in Havana, CU. 


Infraestudio is an art and architecture studio based in Havana, CU. Founded in 2016 by Fernando Martirena and Anadis González, it develops architecture projects, artworks, and installations, dealing with the topics of space, politics and fiction. Infraestudio was selected by ArchDaily as one of the best new architectural practices of 2023. The artists are committed to the legitimacy of an independent praxis on the island and the repositioning of the figure of the architect. Hence, architecture, as a macro category, serves as an alibi for the development of proposals that fit into the visual arts and the publishing universe. The collective understands this processual and eidetic nuance of the project as a strength to the extent that it equates the old hierarchies between the ultimate materiality of the works and the design and planning stages. In an interview they stated: “We believe that fiction is enough.”