Polibio Díaz

(b. 1952, in Barahona, Dominican Republic) studied photography at the University of Texas A & M, USA, where he graduated in Civil Engineering. Since 2003 he has dedicated himself to photography and performance. Polibio Díaz lives and works in the Dominican Republic.

His works have been exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, Park la Villette, Paris, Casa de AmÈrica, Madrid, and the Museum of Modern Art, MAM of Santo Domingo; on the occasion of the First Cultural Festival of African countries, the Caribbean and the Pacific, ACP. He participated in the Venice Biennial, Havana and the Caribbean, where he has received several awards, including the Publishing Award V Caribbean Biennial in 2003 and the First Prize & 1st mention in Climarte of Casa de las Americas, La Habana 2009, among others. Polibio Díaz has collaborated with several writers as Junot Díaz, Manuel Rueda, Julia Álvarez and Chiqui Vicioso. Part of his production is in the books Interiors, 2006, An Island, A Landscape, 1998; Images of Carnival, 1993, and Scarecrow from the South, 1984.

Artist Statement

In my work, I create an analogy between the “First” and “Third” worlds, between black and white.

With my performances I develop my concepts from the understanding that if a white (foreigner) man arrives and decides to build an artificial island facing our sea walk in the colonial part of Santo Domingo, we behave as the natives and their amazement (Guacanagarix’s syndrome) when they saw for the first time the white man.

In my video-performance-installation: The Treasure Island chosen by the Cuban Art Biennial of this year, my approach was direct, frontal, without mediations, because art is a language that communicates what the artist wants to say about the scope of his vision. My art is oriented first to my Dominican compatriots, so we recognize and accept ourselves as we are: the wonderful complex mixture of several civilizations with their shades of colour reflected in the complexity of our skin and culture.

He was in residence at ISCP, New York from September – November 2014.

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