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Carlos Garaicoa

Carlos Garaicoa, artist, in conversation with Michelle Bird, curatorial assistant, department of French paintings, National Gallery of Art, and Andrea Nelson, associate curator, department of photographs, National Gallery of Art. Carlos Garaicoa Manso (b. Havana, Cuba, 1967) studied thermodynamics before his mandatory military service, during which he worked as a draughtsman. He then attended the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) in Havana from 1989 to 1994. Garaicoa takes a multidisciplinary approach in his art to address the social, economic, and political issues that affect our construction of subjectivities and understanding of the contemporary global situation. His work—which uses studies of architecture, city planning, the writing of history, and the tradition of aesthetic forms as a language—articulates a cultural criticism that debates the function of the artistic act and of intellectuals and artists as social agents in the public sphere. His work takes a variety of forms, including installations, videos, photographs, sculptures, pop-up books, and drawings. Two of Garaicoa’s gelatin silver prints with thread and pins, titled Untitled (Pier) and Velero (Ship), are in the collection of the National Gallery of Art. In this conversation, held on September 18, 2016, Garaicoa discusses his career, latest projects, and inaugural Artist x Artist residency with Michelle Bird and Andrea Nelson