Coco Fusco
Artist Talk:
Acting Out: Cuban Artists Challenge to the State
Coco Fusco in conversation with Hamlet Lavastida and Antonio José Ponte

  1. 5 December 23, 7 pm

In English

Venue: ICI Berlin, Haus 8, Christinenstraße 18–19, 10119 Berlin


Registration via ICI Berlin

Limited number of participants


<p>Coco Fusco, <em>To Live in June with Your Tongue Hanging Out</em>, 2018. Video still: Courtesy the artist.</p>

Coco Fusco, To Live in June with Your Tongue Hanging Out, 2018. Video still: Courtesy the artist.


Five of the videos in Coco Fusco’s exhibition Tomorrow, I Will Become an Island at KW were filmed in Cuba, where the artist has collaborated with local artists on a range of projects for over thirty years. The videos in the exhibition explore the fraught relationship between civic engagement and the Cuban state. Coco Fusco will be joined by Cuban artist and former political prisoner Hamlet Lavastida, and Cuban poet and essayist Antonio José Ponte for a discussion about Fusco’s work and the current state of artistic activism in relation to cultural politics in Cuba today.


Hamlet Lavastida is a Cuban artist, based in Berlin. He studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts San Alejandro and the University of the Arts (ISA) in Havana. Lavastida reinterprets the role of Cuban political rhetoric and iconography in public culture. He focuses on the ways that Cuban propaganda shapes and distorts history. He explores the visualization of state ideology in his videos, collages, drawings, and public art. Lavastida’s work has been shown at Documenta 15 (Kassel, Germany); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid); Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin); Center of Contemporary Art Łaźnia (Gdańsk) and Center of Contemporary Art, Zamek Ujazdowski (Warsaw).


Antonio José Ponte was born in Matanzas, Cuba in 1964. He first worked as a hydraulics engineer, and later as a professor of literature, script writer and author. He is Deputy Director of the online daily Diario de Cuba, founded in Madrid in 2009. His published work includes the essays Un seguidor de Montaigne mira La Habana (1995), Las comidas profundas (1997), El libro perdido de los origenistas (2004), Villa Marista en plata (2010) and La lengua suelta y Diccionario de la lengua suelta (2021), the short stories Cuentos de todas partes del Imperio (2000) and Un arte de hacer ruinas y otros cuentos (2005), a book of poems with the title Asiento en las ruinas (2005), and the two novels Contrabando de sombras (2002) and La fiesta vigilada (2007).


Coco Fusco is an interdisciplinary artist and writer. She is a recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim fellowship, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, Latinx Art Award, a Fulbright fellowship and a Herb Alpert Award in the Arts. Fusco’s performances and videos have been presented in the 56th Venice Biennale, Frieze Special Projects, Basel Unlimited, three Whitney Biennials (2022, 2008 and 1993), and several other international exhibitions. Her works are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Walker Art Center, the Centre Pompidou, the Imperial War Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona. She is the author of Dangerous Moves: Performance and Politics in Cuba (2015), English is Broken Here: Notes on Cultural Fusion in the Americas (1995), The Bodies That Were Not Ours (2001) and A Field Guide for Female Interrogators (2008). She is a Professor of Art at Cooper Union.


Live recording of the talk at ICI on 5 December 2023



In cooperation with ICI Berlin.