Experiencing Cuba Exhibition | October 23 – December 20, 2014

Experiencing Cuba: Artists Books of Ediciones Vigía and Photographs of Joseph Mougel, curated by Kim Nochi, showcases 27 handcrafted books from the Ediciones Vigía publishing house in Matanzas, Cuba, 26 of which are housed in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Special Collections Library, and photographs of Cuba from artist Joseph Mougel.

Ediciones Vigía was founded in 1985 as a haven for local artists and writers during a time of political struggle and resource scarcity. As the press evolved, volunteer artisans began to work collaboratively to create handmade books that combine art, literature, and moveable parts. The books they have crafted, and continue to craft today, are collaged from repurposed materials such as driftwood, photocopies of handwritten text, butcher paper, and tin foil.


Courtesy of Special Collections, UW-Milwaukee Libraries

Courtesy of Special Collections, UW-Milwaukee Libraries

Both Cuban and non-Cuban writers and poets have found their voices memorialized within Vigía books which address various subjects such as the vulnerability of individuals and societies, the art historical canon, the religious history of the island, and the challenge of determining what it means to call a place home. The press also publishes love stories, children’s tales, and musical compositions. Today, the artists and volunteers at Ediciones Vigía are recognized internationally for their diverse collection of socially engaging, interactively designed books that encourage discovery and reflection. After viewing the exhibition, visitors will have the opportunity to reflect by crafting their own collaged artworks in the style of Vigía.

Accompanying the Ediciones Vigía books is the photographic work of Joseph Mougel, Assistant Professor and Area Head of Photography at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Mougel received an MFA in photography from the University of New Mexico where he studied video and interactive media. As a young artist working with a Mamiya 7 camera, Mougel traveled to Cuba and documented his experience. His photojournalistic images provide a visual context for the Ediciones Vigía books, offering viewers an honest glimpse into the culture and island that produces the handmade texts.

Courtesy of Joseph Mougel

Courtesy of Joseph Mougel


Public Events:

Thursday, October 23, 2014  5-9pm  Opening reception with Curator’s Remarks at 7pm

Saturday, November 1, 2014 RedLine Milwaukee Teen Residents Participate in Dia de los Muertos parade

Thursday, November 13, 2014  6-8pm  Film Screening: Ediciones Vigia: Poeticas visuales

Saturday, November 22, 2014 1-3pm #r2b@redlinemke (Reasons to Be @ RedLine Milwaukee)

Friday, December 5, 6-8 pm  Cuban Art, Books & Contemporary Culture:  Panel discussion led by Kim Nochi with Max Yela, Joseph Mougel, & Art Heitzer

Thursday, December 11, 6-8 pm  Film Screening: Vigía: Entre la palabra y la imagen (Between the Word and the Image)


This exhibition is funded in part through a grant from the City of Milwaukee Arts Board and the Wisconsin Arts Board.

RedLine Logo copyArtsBoardLogoFullColorwiartsboard_web