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VISIONARY APONTE: Art & Black Freedom

September 19th, 2018
6:00 PM

  Upcoming Project   Add to Calendar 19-09-2018 18:00:00 20-09-2018 01:00:00 15 VISIONARY APONTE: Art & Black Freedom EXHIBIT OPENING NIGHT DD/MM/YYYY
Banner image credit: ASSER SAINT-VAL // José Antonio Aponte, Ferrer Ada, Freedom’s Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2014, 2017, mixed media with kinetic motion on Masonite, 4 panels at 24 x 24 inches each; 48 x 48 x 3 inches overall. (courtesy of the artist; photograph by Yolanda Navas)

VISIONARY APONTE: Art & Black Freedom


Visionary Aponte: Art & Black Freedom takes as its point of departure an extraordinary — and now lost — historical artifact: a “Book of Paintings” created by José Antonio Aponte.

Aponte was a free black carpenter, artist, and former soldier who was also the leader of an ambitious antislavery movement in Cuba during the Age of Revolution. During his trial, Aponte was forced to provide testimony describing each of the pictures in his book, which portrayed a wide array of subjects, from Biblical scenes to landscapes to episodes in the history of Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Using those descriptions, contemporary artists working in painting, drawing, sculpture, video, mixed media, and textile have reimagined Aponte’s book for our present and future. Visit to learn more.


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Exhibit Opening Night

The opening reception for the Visionary Aponte: Art & Black Freedom exhibit at the Power Plant Gallery will include an Afro-Cuban-inspired dance in the exhibit space at approximately 6 pm. Featuring Yanique Hume of UWI Barbados, Duke University's Andrea Woods Valdés, and UNC's Maya Berry. Light refreshments served.


Organized by the Power Plant Gallery and the Forum for Scholars and Publics in collaboration with the Duke University Dance Program and Calabasa Calabasa: Dancing and Making the Music of Life.


Visionary Aponte: Art & Black Freedom is a nine-week art exhibit and accompanying series of conversations, screenings, performances, residencies, and workshops at Duke University organized by the Power Plant Gallery and the Forum for Scholars and Publics. The exhibit is curated by Édouard Duval-Carrié and Ada Ferrer and is based on a digital humanities project called Digital Aponte. The accompanying events have been made possible with support from the following campus and community partners: the Center for Documentary Studies, the MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts, The Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts — Duke Arts, Arts of the Moving Image, Screen/Society, the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute, the Duke Dance Program, and Afro+ProjectionLAB.