Carlos Martiel


Carlos Martiel at Steve Turner

Donasia Tillery | October 26, 2022

Carlos Martiel, Monumento II (2022). Digital print, handcuffs, artist’s presentation box, and pedestal, dimensions variable. Edition of 5. Image courtesy of the artist and Steve Turner Los Angeles.

In her paradigm-shifting text Ghostly Matters, cultural theorist and sociologist Avery F. Gordon employs the concept of haunting to describe “an animated state in which a repressed or unresolved social violence is making itself known.” Unlike trauma, which is transfixed to a moment in time, haunting is a dynamic entanglement with what once was, rupturing illusions of linear time and putting the past within our reach. This notion of haunting feels especially resonant as I enter Cuban artist Carlos Martiel’s exhibition Peso, a multimedia meditation on the weight of Black embodiment, in which—through acts of corporeal vulnerability and endurance—Martiel crafts an aesthetic language for how intergenerational social violence manifests in the body.

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