The laboratorio artístico de san agustín-LASA is the product of an organic process based on the interconnection between people of different horizons: patrons, local and international cultural actors, artists, neighbors, internet navigators, curators, passers-by, politicians, urbanists, designers etc. It did also required audacity for creating an independent art project in the Cuba of 2008. Luckily, Candelario and Aurélie Sampeur, LASA´s authors, beneficiated of favorable factors when they started. Indeed, the Cuban artist knew the context, its weakness and forces, the socio-cultural characteristics of the local inhabitants, the mechanism of the administrative and power structures. The European curator contributed with her methodologies, her knowledge of some international cultural actors and her experience in intercultural art projects. Together, they manage to gather a multidisciplinary team, with who they were able to draw ways to auto finance their actions and to earn the trust of the authorities: a combination for a priceless freedom.
They share these privileges with artists from a broad range of disciplines, whose proposals are developed in residency in San Agustín, together with the curator team and respecting the artistic direction of the moment. Being fully immersed into this specific context, artists can focus on processes of exchanges and express their compromise in very different ways: video, happening, performance, theater piece, concert etc.
This flexibility is possible thanks to the team and collaborators of the laboratory, who are persons appealed by its aspects: local and international, innovative and legal. They see the possibility to enhances their personal development: a new professional opportunity, an increase of salary, a social recognition… Therefore, to contribute to the individual empowerment has become a goal for LASA and it expresses at different levels of its actions.
Nevertheless, the context is not just a stage for those aspects, although it would be hypocrite to affirm LASA was only created for the benefit of a community. This art project definitively grew out a visceral necessity to place the art practice at the heart of the society. It stands for the artist as an entrepreneur and an actor of changes. This is why the Cuban laboratory acts in the public domain (mainly public space). Without turning it into a hostage of the art, the public gets more easily in contact with a different perspective the artist can give on his/her territory and culture. So art can become a catalyzer of individual and/or collective transformations.
Watch the documentary realised by Emily Sadeghian 2016
You can also download our newspaper with texts about LASA and its artistic actions.
PUBLIC ATTEMPTS#1: the taste
PUBLIC ATTEMPTS#2&3: the ear and sight
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