Main menu

Lydia Cabrera and Édouard Glissant: Trembling Thinking Opens October 9

Manthia Diawara, Édouard Glissant Poemes Complets

September 13, 2018

Lydia Cabrera and Édouard Glissant: Trembling Thinking

On view at Americas Society from October 9, 2018 through January 12, 2019

 Curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Gabriela RangeI, and Asad Raza

Press Preview: Tuesday, October 9, 3:00 p.m.

Opening Panel: Tuesday, October 9, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Opening Reception: Tuesday, October 9, 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.

Press Inquiries: mediarelations@as-coa.org | 1-212-277-8384 | 1-212-277-8333

Artists: Etel Adnan, Kader Attia, Tania Bruguera, Manthia Diawara, Mestre Didi, Melvin Edwards, Simone Fattal, Sylvie Glissant, Koo Jeong A, Wifredo Lam, Marc Latamie, Roberto Matta, Julie Mehretu, Philippe Parreno, Amelia Peláez, Asad Raza, Anri Sala, Antonio Seguí, Diamond Stingily, Elena Tejada-Herrera, Jack Whitten, and Pedro Zylbersztajn.

New York, September 13, 2018— Americas Society is pleased to present Lydia Cabrera and Édouard Glissant: Trembling Thinking, an exhibition that focuses on the ideas developed by the prominent Caribbean thinkers Lydia Cabrera (Havana, 1899-Miami, 1991) and Édouard Glissant (Sainte-Marie, Martinique, 1928-Paris, 2011). This exhibition is organized in partnership with the Cuban Heritage Collection of the University of Miami.

The exhibition presents modern and contemporary artists whose works respond to Cabrera and Glissant’s notions of literary ethnography, difference, opacity and cultural multiplicity. Curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist (Artistic Director of the Serpentine Galleries, London), Gabriela RangeI (Chief Curator and Director of Visual Arts, Americas Society), and Asad Raza (Artist) with the assistance of Diana Flatto (Assistant Curator, Americas Society), Trembling Thinking will be on view at the Americas Society Art Gallery from October 9, 2018 through January 12, 2019.  A public panel preceding the exhibition opening will be held on October 9, 4:00 p.m. at Hunter College, and a symposium in partnership with Henri Peyre French Institute, The Graduate Center, CUNY will take place on November 16. Follow the conversation: #TremblingThinking.

“Édouard Glissant was one of the most important writers and philosophers of our time. He called attention to means of global exchange that do not homogenize culture but produce a difference from which new things can emerge,” said Hans Ulrich Obrist. “His poems, novels, plays, and theoretical essays are a ‘toolbox’ I use every day in my praxis as an exhibition curator.”

In Trembling Thinking the legacy of Édouard Glissant, whose ideas of mondialité advocated for difference in the face of homogenizing globalization, is projected in the work of modern and contemporary artists including Etel Adnan, Manthia Diawara, Melvin Edwards, Koo Jeong A, Julie Mehretu, Philippe Parreno, Anri Sala, Diamond Stingily, and Jack Whitten. The show also assembles parts of Glissant’s own unrealized project, “Musée du Tout-Monde” with works by Roberto Matta and Antonio Seguí, both colleagues of Glissant in Paris.

“Lydia Cabrera not only pioneered the study of Afro Cuban traditions, which is a fundamental path for understanding the history and culture of the Caribbean, but examined its various creolizations,” commented Gabriela Rangel. “Cabrera was a self-taught polymath who should be paired to Glissant and who understood José Marti’s idea of the archipelago as a passage to the crossroads of the world. Trained as an artist in Paris in the 1920s, Cabrera’s mastering of ethnographical storytelling requests to be revisited by both artists and social scientists as anticipatory of the role of subjectivity vis-a-vis documentary truth.”

Trembling Thinking presents Cuban writer-ethnographer Lydia Cabrera as a bridge to the realm of the polyglot diversity of Eduard Glissant’s idea of mondialité, which embraces a relational diversity. At the start of the 20th century, a generation of nationalist Cuban intellectuals began to view their country through an ethnographical prism that reflected the various cultures that made up the nation, vis-à-vis slavery. Drawing from this critical perspective, the show raises questions about the role of black culture, its religions and mythologies, through a reconsideration of Lydia Cabrera and her intellectual legacy since the first publication of Cuentos negros de Cuba in Paris in 1936. The show includes first editions by Cabrera and Aimé Césaire, letters to Cabrera from intellectuals including Roger Caillois, Pierre Verger, Roger Bastide, and Guillermo Cabrera Infante, as well as relevant photographs, notebooks, and drawings, including works by Wifredo Lam from Cabrera’s personal collection. The exhibition includes artwork by modern and contemporary artists that highlight the intellectual and artistic connection between Glissant and Cabrera, including Wifredo Lam, Kader Attia, Tania Bruguera, Asad Raza, and Elena Tejada-Herrera, emphasizing the thinkers’ shared and enduring legacy in the Caribbean and elsewhere.

“There's a real need to revisit the poetics of Lydia Cabrera and Édouard Glissant, who each thought about identity, dialogue, and race in ways more complex and cogent than we are capable of today,” observed Asad Raza. “Trembling Thinking attempts to revisit their thought as well as the work of artists who have been inspired by their work. I hope that this hybrid exhibition--between exposition, reflection and creation--will give visitors an experience of the urgency of these thoughts, for their time and ours.”

Access the Lydia Cabrera and Édouard Glissant: Trembling Thinking press release in PDF.

The exhibition Lydia Cabrera and Édouard Glissant: Trembling Thinking is organized in partnership with the Cuban Heritage Collection of the University of Miami Libraries.

It is made possible by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Additional support is provided by Genomma Lab Internacional and Mex-Am Cultural Foundation. In-kind support is graciously provided by the Consulate General of Switzerland in New York.

Americas Society gratefully acknowledges the support from the Arts of the Americas Circle members: Estrellita Brodsky; Galeria Almeida e Dale; Kaeli Deane, Phillips; Diana Fane; Boris Hirmas; Isabella Hutchinson; Carolina Jannicelli; Roberto Redondo and Carlos Manso; Erica Roberts; Sharon Schultz; Herman Sifontes; Axel Stein; Edward J. Sullivan; and Juan Yarur Torres.

Image credit: Manthia Diawara, Édouard Glissant: Poèmes Complets. Video; color, sound. Courtesy of the artist.

PUBLIC PROGRAMS

ON VIEW
October 9, 2018 through January 12, 2019
Americas Society

680 Park Avenue at 68th Street
New York, NY 10065
View map
Gallery hours:

Wednesday to Saturday
12:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Free admission
 

PRESS PREVIEW
Tuesday, October 9
3:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Americas Society
RSVP: mediarelations@as-coa.org

OPENING PANEL
A public panel to mark the opening of Lydia Cabrera and Édouard Glissant: Trembling Thinking hosted by co-curators Hans Ulrich Obrist, Gabriela Rangel, and Asad Raza.  
Tuesday, October 9
4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Americas Society
Free admission
 

EXHIBITION OPENING
Tuesday, October 9
6:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Americas Society
Free admission
 

PANEL DISCUSSION: Lydia Cabrera in the Archipelago
A panel including scholars Katerina González Seligmann, Martin Tsang, and Christopher Winks, moderated by Gabriela Rangel.
Tuesday, October 16
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Americas Society
Free admission
 

BOOK LAUNCH: The Properties of Light: Luis Barragán and Fred Sandback
A discussion between Roger Duffy, Lilian Tone, and Edward Vazquez, moderated by Polina Strogonova.
Thursday, November 1
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Americas Society
Free admission
 

FILM SCREENING: Manthia Diawara, Édouard Glissant: One World in Relation
The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with the director.
Tuesday, November 6
6:30 to 8:30 p.m. 
Americas Society
Free admission

SYMPOSIUM: Édouard Glissant's Tout-Monde: Transnational Perspectives
Friday, November 16
1:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Elebash Recital Hall, The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 5th Ave, New York, NY 10016
Free admission

CONVERSATION AND BOOK LAUNCH - Somewhere Totally Else
Conversation between Tania Bruguera and Hans Ulrich Obrist followed by the book launch.
Wednesday, November 28
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Americas Society 
Free admission

FILM SCREENING – Ana Mendieta Films
The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with artist Juan Sánchez and art historian Genevieve Hyacinthe.
Thursday, December 6
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Americas Society
Free admission

Visit as-coa.org/visualarts for more details on all public programs.

Americas Society (AS) is the premier organization dedicated to education, debate, and dialogue in the Americas. Established by David Rockefeller in 1965, our mission is to foster an understanding of the contemporary political, social, and economic issues confronting Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada, and to increase public awareness and appreciation of the diverse cultural heritage of the Americas and the importance of the inter-American relationship. Americas Society Visual Arts program boasts the longest-standing private space in the United States dedicated to exhibiting and promoting art from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada; it has achieved a unique and renowned leadership position in the field, producing both historical and contemporary exhibitions.