May 10, 2018, 5pm
Princeton University School of Architecture marks the closing of Liquid La Habana: Ice Cream, Rum, Waves, Sweat and Spouts with a gallery talk and symposium with Beatriz Colomina (Professor, School of Architecture, Princeton University), Rachel Price (Associate Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Princeton University), Tania Bruguera (Artist and Activist), Miguel Coyula (Independent Filmmaker), and Paloma Duong (Assistant Professor of Latin American Studies & Global Studies and Languages, MIT). The exhibition, curated by Beatriz Colomina, Ivan L. Munuera, and Bart-Jan Polman, explores the ways in which the fluid projects of ice cream, rum, waves, sweat and spouts reshuffle social contracts, radically confronting ideas of modernity, society, economy, sexuality, privacy, diplomacy, aesthetics, geopolitics, race, and development.
The gallery talk, symposium, and screening of film clips and artworks will coincide with an ice cream social inspired by its role in Cuba's revolutionary social recomposition. Immediately after the revolution, Fidel Castro ordered his ambassador to Canada to ship him twenty-eight containers of ice cream. Upon tasting, Castro decided that Cuba needed to respond on a revolutionary scale by creating something bigger and better. To this day, Cubans and visitors can enjoy subsidized ice cream at the Coppelia ice cream parlor at the heart of La Habana’s Vedado neighborhood. For decades Coppelia has functioned as an important public space, now a queer cruising spot, now an affordable site for consumption during the resource-scarce Special Period. Today it joins parks and other public spaces throughout the city that host free Wi-Fi; bodies meet physically in order to meet digitally, enacting new forms of interaction. New flows, but also new kinds resistances and abrasions are defining contemporary Havana: the circulation of digital information in the Paquete Semanal, but also new zones of exclusion, the sounds of reggaetón and trap music moving about the city in collective taxis and moving bodies in clubs, the pixels and screens featured in contemporary Cuban painting; a wash of surfaces from cell phones to bodies in motion to the rising waters of an Atlantic port city.