Susana Pilar

Susana Pilar lives and works in Enschede, NL, and Havana, CU

Susana Pilar is not an artist; she is a woman—Black, Cuban, imperfect, and mortal. Her art is only one disguise among many others she has worn in order to be listened to and acknowledged. Art is just an excuse, a well-thought-out strategy of seduction that allows her to camouflage herself in order to decompose paradoxes and contradictions, to nimbly move between one extreme and the other.

Above all, Pilar is a sagacious observer who carefully analyzes human behavior as well as the foundations that sustain social relationships (she is a trained anthropologist with thorough knowledge of her field). Perhaps this is why her work is always focused on unresolved conflicts—a form of research in which she frequently places herself as the main object of study. By doing so, whether or not she is conscious of it, Pilar is always walking a tightrope.

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Susana Pilar, Dibujo intercontinental [Intercontinental drawing], 2017, performance, courtesy Galleria Continua, San Gimignano  © Susana Pilar, photo: Marnix van den Berg

The tightrope itself is nothing other than the real, objective, flexible, and dangerously unstable physical distance that binds (and separates) two seemingly stable points. This is the paradox—a contradictory but necessary path, perhaps the only one possible—that forms the basis of Pilar’s practice. Her works traverse the personal and the collective, life and death, happiness and sadness, domination and submission. Disguised as an artist, she masterly treads between these fundamental contradictions.

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Susana Pilar, El tanque [The Tank], 2015, performance in Kollaboration mit Asunción Matienzo Serra, courtesy Galleria Continua, San Gimignano  © Susana Pilar, photo: Ana Maria La Mastra

Present throughout her entire body of work are the contrary emotions generated by conflict resolution: fear/courage; hope/despair; confidence/paranoia. Pilar tackles personal, social, historical, and political issues to elucidate that very moment when one becomes painfully aware of the frightening distance between the tightrope’s two extremes.

Blanca Victoria López

At the 12th Berlin Biennale Susana Pilar presents a performance.

Exhibitions

Intersections, 2021/22, Galleria Continua – Les Moulins, Boissy-le-Châtel (FR)

Body Present, 2019, KIOSK, Ghent (BE) (solo)

Jardinera, 2018, Galleria Continua – Les Moulins, Boissy-le-Châtel (FR) (solo)

Dibujo Intercontinental, Galleria Continua, Havana (CU) (solo)

56th Venice Biennale: All the World’s Futures, 2015, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice (IT)