Franklin Furnace Fund Recipients 2016-17

(Brooklyn, NY)Carlos Martiel


Carlos Martiel was born in 1989 in Havana. He graduated from the National Academy of Fine Arts “San Alejandro,” Havana in 2009. Between the years of 2008 and 2010, he studied in the Cátedra Arte de Conducta, directed by the artist Tania Bruguera. Martiel’s works have been included in: Havana Biennial (2009) (2012), Pontevedra Biennal (2010), Liverpool Biennial (2010), Biennial “La Otra,” Bogota ( 2013), International Performance Art Biennale, Houston (2014); Casablanca Biennale, Morocco (2016). He has had solo exhibitions and performances at Y Gallery, New York, USA; Samsøn Projects; Boston, USA; Robert Miller Gallery, New York, USA; Steve Turner, Los Angeles, USA; Axenéo7, Gatineau, Canadá; Nitsch Museum, Naples, Italy; Lux Gallery, Guatemala City, Guatemala; Contemporary Art Center “Wifredo Lam,” Havana, Cuba. He has received several awards, including “CIFOS Grants & Commissions Program Award” in Miami, USA, 2014; “Arte Laguna” in Venice, Italy, 2013. His work has been exhibited Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Italy; Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece; Tornielli Museum, Ameno, Italy; Estonian Museum of Art and Design,Tallinn, Estonia; Museum of Modern Art of Buenos Aires, Argentina; among others.

Project Description

This performance reflects on the way black bodies are sequestered, seized, and abducted; and the consequent plunder and despoil of the cultural and material wealth of the African Continent. This work is not reduced only to the history of the transatlantic slave trade; it is meant as a critique of the present situation of constant vulnerability and crisis in which Africa and other nations continue to be indiscriminately exploited by the postcolonial and neoliberal policies of USA, Europe and other parts of the developed world.

Seven small diamonds will be surgically inserted under my skin. An American white man will open the wounds and will remove, one by one, each of the diamonds placed in different parts of my body. Once the procedure is completed, I will remain for a period of time lying down with the open wounds.