Between the visible and the invisible, between sound and silence
“Like magic, art is an act of transformation, which can be as simple as making a coincidence to happen.”
What’s your work about?
"There is an ignored longing for a state of freedom, for a feeling of belonging to the world. Sometimes art can be a remark of this state; of this intrinsic power hidden for so long. The power of imagination, the power of living belonging and the power of being in harmony. I believe in an art that act like an alarm for walking more aware through the world, and allow us to see it as if it were for the first time, with the privileged look of a child. Making noticeable the imperceptible.
I’m interested in the interstice between the visible and the invisible, between sound and silence, between the similarity and the difference, between ephemeral and the eternal. Like magic, art is an act of transformation, which can be as simple as making a coincidence to happen."
What inspires you?
"Everything in life as everything is relatable, but also literature (Augusto Monterroso, Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, Ramón Gómez de la Serna, Luis Rogelio Nogueras among many others); philosophy (Nietszsche, Bachelard, etc); Artists like Yoko Ono and Laurie Anderson (whom I heard since I was 12) Film (Memorias del Subdesarrollo, The apartment, films from Julio Medem, Pulp Fiction, etc); Music."
Why have you chosen to live and work in Havana?
"Because there are things which are familiar...
After living abroad for around 2 years (2005-07) I have realized of the best things in my place of birth, Havana. I like the spontaneity and unpredictability of people and of almost everything that happens here. This keeps creativity alive but there is also something inherent to me which is the constant questioning of the roots and reasons of things and the observation, awareness and analytic attitude towards every little thing in life, allows me to have ideas in any place of the world."
A bit about Glenda
Cuba-born and Madrid/Havana-based, Glenda León has received prizes such as the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award and residencies such as Couvent Des Recollect, Paris, and Fonderie Darling, Montreal. Her work is in museum collections including Centre George Pompidou, Musée des Beaux Arts de Montréal and the AGO, Toronto. She received a BA in Art History in 1999 from the University of Havana and a MFA from Academy of New Media Art in 2007, Cologne, Germany.
She was invited to 55th Venice Biennale, 2013 (Cuban Pavilion), SITE Santa Fe Biennial, 2014, the II Jafre’s Biennial, Spain and Havana Biennial (2003, 2009, 2015). She has also participated in group shows in museums such as MART, Rovereto, Italia; Rochechouart Museum of Contemporary Art, Rochechouart, France; Musée des Beaux‐Arts de Montréal, Canada; Centre for Contemporary Art Laznia, Gdansk, Poland; Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA; CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco, USA; Bronx Museum, NY, USA; Badischen Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Germany; City Art Museum Ljubljana, Slovenia; The Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, USA; and Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Rhode Island, USA. She was recently the subject of solo shows at CAAM, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain; Matadero Madrid, Madrid, Spain; Galería Senda, Barcelona, 2014; Chateau des Adhemar, Montellimar, France, 2013; Le Plateau Espace expérimental, Paris, France, 2007.
She has also published as writer several essays on art, including the book La Condición Performática (Pinos Nuevos, La Habana, 2000), translated into French by Éditions Nota Bene, Montreal in 2010.