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Beautiful Books, Subversive Ideas

Friday, March 14, 2014
4:00 AM
Room 100 Hatcher Graduate Library

Lecture by Rolando Estévez

Rolando Estévez, one of the most exciting book artists of our time, will be visiting from Cuba to talk about the role of handmade books in Cuba and in the world today. As our society moves toward digital books and the idea of the book as virtual rather than tactile, the role of handmade books has become a fascinating publishing phenomenon transforming how we think about literary texts. Estévez, the artistic founding director of Ediciones Vigía, an artisanal press in Matanzas, Cuba, will provide a retrospective of his work for Vigía, as well as discussing and displaying his newest one-of-a-kind books that give expression to his unique visual poetics. At his lecture, Estévez will present for the first time an artist book about Hemingway and the legacy of his presence in Cuba. This event is free and open to the public. Lecture will be in Spanish with simultaneous English translation.

Born in Matanzas, Cuba, Rolando Estévez is a visual artist and poet who works in multiple mediums, including drawing, painting, installation, performance, stage design, and handmade book design. He teaches basic freestyle design and theatre design in Matanzas, where he is a leading promoter and organizer of artistic events and alternative cultural activities. Between 1985-2013, Estévez created over 500 handmade artist books for Ediciones Vigía in Matanzas, Cuba, which are collected by the British National Library, the Atlantic Art Museum, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), the U.S. Library of Congress, as well as numerous universities in the U.S., Canada and other countries in the Americas. At the University of Michigan, the Special Collections Library holds a major collection of these extraordinary books. Estévez is currently moving toward the production of one-of-a-kind artist books at his own imprint, El Fortín, that are rapidly gaining recognition for their unique beauty and subversive poetics.

This event made possible through the generous support of the U-M Center for World Performance Studies, the International Institute, LSA’s Dean Office, the Department of Anthropology, the Latina/o Studies Program, and the Hatcher Graduate Library.

For more information, please contact Ruth Behar.

Pictures of Estevez's work