This symposium will gather scholars and artists discussing the figure of José Antonio Aponte and the art exhibit on view at the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center from 23 February to 4 May, Visionary Aponte: Art and Black Freedom.
Friday, 23 February
King Juan Carlos I Center
New York University
53 Washington Sq S
New York, NY
This event is free and open to the public. RSVP online here
About the exhibit:
After a successful showing in Miami, the Visionary Aponte: Art and Black Freedom exhibit comes to KJCC (Feb 23 – May 4).
The exhibit focuses on an extraordinary – and now lost – historical artifact: a “Book of Paintings” created by José Antonio Aponte, a free black carpenter, artist, and former soldier who was also the leader of an ambitious antislavery movement in Cuba during the Age of Revolution. During his trial, Aponte was forced to provide testimony describing each of the pictures in his book, which portrayed a wide array of subjects, from Biblical scenes to landscapes to episodes in the history of Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Using those descriptions, fifteen contemporary artists – working in painting, drawing, sculpture, video, mixed media, and textile – have reimagined Aponte’s book for our present, inviting us to think about the role of art and history in shaping social and political change.
Katy Fleming, NYU Provost
Ana Dopico, Director, King Juan Carlos Center
Jill Lane, Director, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
10:00-10:45 Keynote: Art and a Black Kingdom of this World
Ada Ferrer, NYU (History and CLACS)
10:45-12:15 Approaching Aponte, His Book, and His Legacies
Chair: Sibylle Fischer (NYU, Spanish and CLACS)
Jorge Pavez (Universidade de São Paulo) Aponte’s Black Codex
Greg Childs (Brandeis University) Other Aponte’s?
Tomás Fernández Robaina (Biblioteca Nacional José Martí, Havana), Aponte Now
1:30-3:30 Visionary Aponte Artists’ Roundtable I
Moderator: Odette Casamayor, University of Connecticut
Édouard Duval Carrié
3:45- 5:45 Visionary Aponte Artists’ Roundtable II
Moderator: Sara E. Johnson, UCSD
Asser St. Val
Jean-Marcel St. Jacques
5:45 Concluding Remarks
Above adapted from the NYU Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies event announcement