Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain is pleased to announce a solo exhibition by Cuban photographer, video and performance artist Adonis Flores. This special collaboration with Galería Habana (www.galerihabana.com) has been programmed to coincide with the most important exhibition of Cuban art ever assembled, Cuba Art ¡Cuba! Art and History from 1868 to Today, currently on display at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (www.mbam.qc.ca). It also marks the first time Flores has exhibited in Montreal. Critical examinations of his work have recently been published in esse no. 62 (www.esse.ca) and Parachute no. 125 (www.parachute.ca).


The work of Adonis Flores deals with issues related to the cult of the military apparatus. In his work, the realm of military discipline is addressed by means of parody, as fear and its opposite co-exist in a new form, which, much like an oxymoron, could be characterized as a sort of anti-cult, a “heretic faith.” Historically, the institutionalization of armies (and of the military apparatus in general) played a crucial role in the formation of modern “national projects,” whereby a deep sense of sovereignty, nationality, and identity was instilled. Indeed, the developing practice, ideology, and attachment to icons and symbols related to identity were imbued with a glorious and patriotic ethos. The specific case of Cuba deserves a closer look in this respect, since it sheds some light into a polemic and complex phenomenon in which an affirmative culture of resistance reproduces a sovereign project of collective aspirations.

Flores’s works refer to a universe of symbols formed by the body and the self. They generate new meanings and visions of the world by making use of military ideas and oppressive patterns. In fact, clothing and disguise are at the forefront of this remarkable game of confusion that intertwines the sartorial and the naked body in view of contrasting the shown and the hidden, the figure and its own ritual of simulation…

Flores took part in the Angolan War of Independence in the late 1980s. This experience allowed him to connect military life to Cuban civil life and art chiefly by means of metaphors. In this light it is possible to recognize in his work a re-interpretation of fear that is effected in terms of a well-structured phenomenon that is clearly repeated in other spheres or historic periods.

Mabel Llevat Soy
excerpted from "Adonis Flores: Between Archetype and Heresy" esse no. 62, (reproduced with the permission of the author)


Adonis Flores is a multidisciplinary artist living in Havana, Cuba. After studying in a military school and being sent to Angola to fulfil his military service in 1989, he entered the Universidad Central de Las Villas, Cuba, in 1992, and graduated as an Architect in 1997. He has performed or exhibited his work in CAFKA (Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener and Area), Canada; Sideshow, in parallel with the British Art Show, Nottingham, UK; Art Forum Fair in Berlin and European Media Art Festival in Osnabrück, Germany; Show Off Fair, Paris, France; Loop Festival, Barcelona, Spain; MACO Fair, Mexico; National Salons of Awarded and Havana Biennial, Cuba, among others. His home province, Sancti Spíritus, granted him the Provincial Prize of Arts 2002. His work can be found in numerous public and private collections including those of Howard Farber (USA), Laurent Farcy-Briant (London), Anette Bollag-Rothschild (Zurich), the Gilbert Brownstone Foundation (Paris), Arte de Nuestra América, Casa de Las Américas (Havana), and the Centre national des arts plastiques (France).

The artist will be in Montreal from April 6 - 17 and will be availble for interviews (in Spanish only). A catalogue of his recent solo exhibition at Galería Habana, Carne de cañon, will also be availble during the exhibition.

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Maleza   Postura
Maleza [Weeds]
2005,digital print,
90 x 135 cm, ed. of 5 + 3 a.p.
Postura [Posture]

2005, digital print,
90 x 67,5 cm, ed. of 7 + 2 a.p.

Aliento   Oratoria

Aliento [Breath]

2006, digital print,
90 x 67,5 cm, .ed. of 7 + 3 a.p.
Oratoria [Oratory]

2007, digital print,
67,5 x 90 cm, .ed. of 7 + 3 a.p.
El arte de la primavera   cautela

El arte de la primavera

[The Art of Spring]
2004, digital print
80 x 53 cm, ed. of 7 + 3 a.p.
Cautela [Caution]

2007, digital print,
60 x 90 cm, .ed. of 7 + 3 a.p.
Retono   Carne de canon

Retono [Shoot]

2004, digital print
80 x 53,3 cm, ed. of 7 + 3 a.p.
Carne de cañon (Cannon Fodder]
2007, digital print
66,7 x 100 cm, .ed. of 7 + 3 a.p.
Mascarada   T

Mascarada [Masquerade]
2006, digital print,
100 x 70 cm, .ed. of 7 + 3 a.p.
Visionario [Visionary]
2003, digital print,
90 x 60,5 cm, .ed. of 7 + 2 a.p.

Tamiz [Sieve]
2003, digital print,
80 x 60 cm, .ed. of 7 + 3 a.p.


El arte de la primavera   Honras funebres
El arte de la primavera
[The Art of Spring]
2006, DVD,
1:03 min, ed. of 5 + 1 a.p.
Honras fúnebres [Last Honors]
2007, DVD,
3:00 min, ed. of 5 + 1 a.p.

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view of the show1   view of the show1
view of the show1   view of the show1
view of the show1   view of the show1

Christine Redfern "Cuban art from all ironic directions" The Gazette 26 April 2008
Jocelyne Lepage "Adonis Flores: la guerre, no sir!" La Presse 19 April 2008 (in French)
Christine Redfern "The art of war" The Mirror (Montreal) 17 April 2008 (scroll down)
Jérôme Delgado"Camouflage à la cubaine" Le Devoir 11 April 2008 (in French)

Review of 2007 exhibition at Galería Habana by Piter Ortega Núñez Art Nexus Vol. 7 No. 68
Artist's webpage on the website of Galería Habana (Cuba)

click icon below to download a recent C.V. of the artist (adobe PDF)

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