(Pinar del Rio, 1968)
Visual artist, curator, teacher. Enrique José Varona Higher Pedagogical Institute (Havana, 1992). Since 2008 he has served as Director of the Pinar del Río Art Museum (MAPRI). His work, of a marked anthropological essentialism, is distinguished by the rescue of memory (Telluric Memory), through the use of different media, ranging from material painting to the sculptured object, installation, environment, performance, photography and video-creation. He has participated in several editions of the National Hall of Awardees, the Contemporary Cuban Art Hall, and the Havana Biennial. Among its results is the 2007 Cuban Prize for Visual Arts, awarded by the Pedro Pablo Oliva Casa-Taller Foundation. As a curator, his interests revolve around projects with an experimental and pedagogical vocation, and conceptions where the approaches of visual and literary studies, philosophy, anthropology and psychology converge. In 2004, when he was teaching as a teacher at the Tiburcio Lorenzo Plastic Arts Academy, he founded the FARMACIA Artistic-Pedagogical Project.
The set of photographs incino, belong to the San José cycle and were taken in an oak tree, a tree that, due to its location, was the threshold of what was the batey of San José and my childhood. A symbolic variant of the world tree, currently dying from human misunderstanding, full of cracks and termite paths. It is the reminiscence of a lost paradise. That is why the shots are almost abstract details to suggest the union with the mystery that transcends us as if the incino entire memory of that place were contained in incineration. Memory, like the sphere of Parmenides, stubbornly wants to endure in those things that we love and lose most. I try, from the photographic planes, to narrate, to tell the story, without ever forgetting that under the incino are our shadows. A return to the roots that nourish and define us. In that look I rise, I consume myself and I return to the earth.
"I am Juan Carlos Rodríguez Valdés. Visual artist, director of the Pinar del Río Art Museum and the FARMACIA Artistic-Pedagogical Project. I have a life project called "Return to Earth." This project is based on telluric memory and by telluric memory I designate those areas of experiences that have been archived as memory traces in the mind and that are updated as experiences of daily life, hence I consider my work as an anthropology of the image and of memory, which includes installations, videos, photographs, objects such as the tablets that are observed in the background, curatorial and educational projects.
The set of photographs entitled Incino that start from a place where I was born and grew up, which currently does not exist, were taken on a tree with the same name. For me it is to return to those memories but from an abstract, distorted image, to not only express the image as a photograph, but also the memory areas included as those little forgetfulness, those little filters through which we see our past. I think that memory, like "the sphere of Parmenides", wants to endure in those things that we love and lose the most. I try to narrate, tell the story, without ever forgetting that under that tree are our shadows. For me it is a return to the roots that nourish and define us. In that look I rise, I consume myself and I return to the earth."