Esterio Segura : El peso de las alas
Travel has accompanied mankind since the oldest civilizations: explorations, discoveries, conquests, escapes, expansions, have been the trigger and the fruit of multiple displacements, both individual and collective, throughout history. This is why travel is often linked to the migratory experience. From this perspective, traveling acquires a strong personal and existential dimension, linked to feelings of quest, encounter, loss, eradication and mutation.
Migration and ttraveling are at the heart of the work of Cuban artist Esterio Segura, who graduated from the prestigious Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana in 1994 and has been one of the most dynamic Cuban artists over the last three decades. Since 2003, the artist has been interested in the symbolism associated with the act of travel and depicts with a certain irony and nostalgia the means and circumstances of migratory movements. Since then, his work has been populated by a universe of hybrid forms marked by one of the age-old allegories linked to geographical displacement: wings. Through sculptures, paintings, installations, drawings and, more recently, photographs, Esterio evokes Cuba's complex economic and social situation, linked to the physical and psychological borders dictated by the island's geographic and historical isolation. "The insular space conditions a very specific way of thinking about travel. Being surrounded by water on all sides not only makes it difficult to move from one place to another, but also provokes a feeling of loneliness or disconnection, as well as a marked division between inside and outside."
The exhibition El peso de las alas (The Weight of Wings) brings together pieces from some of the artist's most emblematic series, linked to the theme of travel. Thus, his Emigrants, whose antecedent is his work Hybrid of Chrysler, presented at the 57th Venice Biennale, form a very particular group, marked by the contradiction of having wings without being able to fly. Symbols of the journey, in its temporal and geographical dimension, these cars come from an island that lives on its history and utopia, and represent the resilience and hope with which Cuban society faces the difficulties of everyday life. Goodbye my love is certainly the artist's most famous work, as it crosses the world with its red wings to nostalgically remind us how difficult it is to say goodbye to those we love.
The focal point of the exhibition is his Lost luggage series of photographs, which is presented to the public for the first time. The artist evokes the complex experience experience of the migrant subject, in crisis for political, social, cultural or economic reasons, forced to venture on a journey that is at once physical, temporal and existential, during which he must often abandon his past completely, everything that was once part of his life. The weight of the wings is in fact only the weight of memory.
Over the last 30 years, Esterio Segura has regularly exhibited his work in important institutions around the world, such as the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), the National Museum of Fine Arts of Cuba, the Bronx Museum the Queens Museul and Times Square. In addition, Esterio's works are included in public art collections, such as the MOMA collection, the Cisneros Fontanals collection, the Cisneros Fontanals collection, the Perez Art Museum collection, the Bronx collection, the Latin American art collection of the University of Essex and, more recently, the collection of the National Gallery in Washington. He has also participated in important art biennials around the world, such as the Havana Biennial Havana Biennial, the Sao Paulo Biennial and the Venice Biennial.