Saavedra has consistently used performance art to prioritize the public’s relationship with art over the ownership of art objects. His series of drawings Historias para historiadores (Stories for Historians), 1989–91, are documents of his own artworks—some of them unrealized due to bureaucratic roadblocks in Cuba. His sketch for one attempted work, Egocentrismo funerario (Funerary Egocentrism), depicts a casket in which Saavedra intended to lie, paying a sarcastic homage to the “death of the author” (i.e., himself). As conveyed in the drawing’s notes, this performance was prohibited by cultural authorities in Havana. Saavedra proposes to stage the performance for the first time in Boston as part of the exhibition “Permission To Be Global/Prácticas Globales: Latin American Art from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection.” His dark sense of humor is a strategic tool to share critical ideas with broad audiences.
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This presentation is supported by Carolyn Fine Friedman and Jeremiah Friedman, with additional support from the 2012–2013 Contemporary Visiting Committee.
Image: Lázaro Saavedra, Egocentrismo funerario (Funerary Egocentrisim), 1990-2014
Photography by Eduardo Restrepo