7th Havana Biennial -  Home November 2000 - January 2001Home
Ndary Mbathio Lo - Statement
Ndary Mbathio Lo Written down by Pat Binder and Gerhard Haupt, based on an interview with the artist.
In my country we have a great connection with the Ché. He is well known there. When I got the chance to come to the Biennial, I thought "Ah, I'm going to the town of the Ché." So I wanted to make something a little bit in connection with him. At the beginning it was a personal feeling about the Ché, like a monument to him, but later it became a more general thing, a communication with the dead.

The form I started with on the floor was his "star". I used bones too. Because some years ago, I heard about some Cubans who tried recuperate the bones of the Ché from Bolivia to bring to Cuba. Then I built the figures, very slim figures with no heads. They are praying, really. And since I like the contrast between materials, too, I put dried leaves on this kind of grave.

In Africa, we have a past of traditional sculpture and a past of installation art, in rituals. This piece begins with the feelings for the Ché, but then it becomes like a ritual, a praying to try to make a connection with him.

For the kind of work I do, I usually use the concept "adaptaism". This word doesn't exist, I created it. I am not a cubist. I am not an impressionist. I am an "adaptist". It means to adapt yourself to where you are. Adapting yourself where you are means you can use whatever tools and materials are available. When I came to Cuba ten days ago, I just brought the small figures. The rest I welded and built here.

© Interview, photos:
Gerhard Haupt & Pat Binder,
Universes in Universe
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Ndary Lo - 1 Tour

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