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Homebound: The Art of Public Space in Contemporary Cuba

Paloma Duong photo
Paloma Duong, Assistant Professor of Latin American Studies

How the exhibition of art in private homes intervenes in debates about public space in Havana.

Homebound: The Art of Public Space in Contemporary Cuba
“Homebound: The Art of Public Space in Contemporary Cuba”
ARTMargins 6, 2 (June 2017): 27–49

Despite the home’s long history as a locus of cultural and political action in Cuba, serious studies of its informal residential culture are only now beginning to emerge. This article explores how the exhibition of art in private homes intervenes in debates about public space in Havana. It situates these exhibition practices historically with respect to the spatial politics of the Cuban Revolution of 1959, while mapping the reorganization of official and unofficial cultures after the demise of the Soviet bloc. Bringing into relief how these home exhibits problematize state and market alliances in the postsocialist context, I argue that these practices are doubly embedded in local as much as global polemics regarding the place—literally and metaphorically—of art today.

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Paloma Duong
Written by
Paloma Duong

At the intersection of cultural studies, media theory, and critical theory, Paloma Duong researches and teaches modern and contemporary Latin American culture. She works with social texts and emergent media cultures that speak to the exercise of cultural agencies and the formation of political subjectivity. Her most recent book is Portable Postsocialisms: Cuban Mediascapes after the End of History, a book-length study of Cuba’s changing mediascape and an inquiry on the postsocialist condition and its contexts. Her articles have been published in the Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, Art Margins, and Cuban Counterpoints: Public Scholarship about a Changing Cuba.

Paloma Duong Written by Paloma Duong