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Olazabal: Un hacedor de objetos / A Maker of Objects (2015), 34 minutes
with English subtitles      A Cordones Cook Film

Santiago Rodríguez Olazábal

"Santiago Rodríguez Olazábal (Havana 1955) is a priest of Ifá, an Afro-Cuban religion. Nurtured by traditions of African origin, his art work provides a powerful intellectual incentive to approach the complexities and the beauty of the Yoruba culture. Olazábal has appropriated the languages and methodologies of our traditional Western culture to transmit his messages, to express a millennial wisdom. At the same time, his work can express a mysterious, profound and painful feeling with symbolic, allegorical, metaphoric, and aesthetic meanings on the different aspects of life." --

Olazabal: Un hacedor de objetos / A Maker of Objects (2015), ca. 34 minutes with English subtitles. Direction and production by Juanamaría Cordones-Cook. Comment: Nurtured by spiritual traditions of the Yoruba culture, multimedia artist Santiago Rodríguez Olazábal (Havana 1955) establishes an intense and constant aesthetic dialogue with the divinities of the Ifá Orisha religion. Through unique symbols, rituals, and mysteries, his work expresses the profound grief of his African ancestors. In this documentary, Rodríguez Olazábal shares his thoughts about his personal and artistic development, visits his childhood neighborhood and meets with old friends. He also draws in charcoal human figures that he effectively complements with vibrant primary colors. The film displays a wide range of his bidimensional and tridimensional oeuvres including his recent exhibit at Galería Habana, “Palabras” (2014-2015). The documentary is enriched by remarks of outstanding personalities of the Cuban art scene, curator Gretchen Lima Molina, gallerist Luis Miret and art critics Hilda María Rodríguez and Yolanda Wood.


Santiago Rodríguez Olazábal- MASSENET:
Meditation From Thaďs

The facets of a unique artist, Santiago Rodríguez Olazábal  1/11/2016 CMBQ: "With rather complex approaches between the conceptual formulation of his busy artistic productions and the excellence of his drawings, Santiago Rodríguez Olazábal has been characterized within the panorama of contemporary Cuban art for the exaltation of certain edges of syncretic religion, but from a deep, anthropological, critical and sociological angle, he distances himself quite a bit from clichés of folklorism."

Catching Up in Havana: Palabras by Santiago Rodríguez Olazábal  3/3/2015 Cuban Art News: "In the exhibition Palabras (Words), Santiago Rodríguez Olazábal set "an infinite and multiple dialogue with the deities of the Yoruba pantheon," as María Carla Gárciga Rodríguez wrote in Cubarte, giving contemporary expression to traditional concepts and symbols. In choosing the exhibition title, Rodríguez Olazábal said, he "thought of the importance that drawing has, and has had, in my work. For me, drawing is a kind of writing, with an iconography that acts and expresses the qualities of its own poetic circumstances." The gallery view below includes partial views of Rodríguez Olazábal's Éxtasis (Ecstasy), 2014 at right, and Conjuro (Incantation), 2014, at center."

Solo Show: Santiago Rodríguez Olazábal  9/1/2011 ArtNexus: "The first solo exhibition by Cuban artist Santiago Rodríguez-Olazábal at PanAmerican Art Project Gallery in Miami was interpreted by some as a reunion of sorts, while others saw it as a new approach to Afro-Cuban religion. Held in the main hall of the gallery, the exhibition was accompanied by the works of two other artists: Cuban Manuel Mendive, and Jamaican David Boxter, who presented their pieces in two adjacent and smaller exhibition rooms. These allowed viewers to evaluate the different connotations and forms of confronting and interpreting Afro-Caribbean culture, specifically form a religious point of view."

Entrevista con Santiago Rodríguez Olazábal  12/1/2005 Caribenet: "żY lo haces consciente de pertenecer a la generación de los 80? “Uno nunca puede sentirse aislado de su generación porque uno es un ser social que vive inmerso en una época. Quieras o no quieras tienes que respirar, mirar y pensar a la manera de esa época. Yo fui uno de los estudiantes que salió a la calle a buscar y que tuve la suerte de pertenecer a esa ruptura del arte cubano que marcó pautas importantes en los ańos 80, como antes lo hizo la generación de los 40, contrarios a otras como la de los 70 que pudo, pero no supo hacerlo. Entonces, la nuestra estableció una diferencia que incluso abarcó otras manifestaciones como el teatro.” "

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