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Artist Statement

Omni-Zonafranca (OMNI-ZF) is a self-taught group founded by visual artists and poets. It is primarily a group that focuses on socially conscious, creative work. We practice total art: the union of all types of arts. From 1997 to 2009 we worked in association with the Center of Art and Literature Fayad Jamís, in Alamar, Habana del Este, Cuba; a center and a city with a history of unifying generations of avant garde art. In the city of Alamar, the group owns a space-gallery and the houses/ temples of the members of the group become places for creation, self training, self organization, self healing and the spiritual growth of the community.

Principles

OMNI-ZF starts doing artistic work in public spaces, without the mediation of the established institutions, thus becoming an institution in itself since its foundation. Since the official institutions do not extend their work to public spaces such as streets, stations, markets, community centers or buses, etc, OMNI-ZF Group becomes a legitimate project for social research through art. Despite lots of misunderstandings, dialogue with the institutions has been occurring, given that the group has become an intermediary between the official institutions and the people in the community. It has also been a bridge between higher culture and everyday culture, because its artistic production communicates great intensity, quality and complexity using, at the same time, simple modes of communication.

The artistic production of the group is significantly supported by the individual creation of its members: literature, visual arts, music, sound experimentation, ample documentation of their public interventions made into video art, films, photography, design, fashion and experimental concerts—groundbreaking work recognized by prestigious national and international critics.

In its beginnings, the Group participated in national art events with guerrilla interventions to get attention from the public. Nowadays, the group has been officially invited to the most important national events and some international ones. Nevertheless, it continues to be an independent group, with no official promotion or insertion in the marketplace. It has created national and international events with ample participation of the general public, artists and social activists.

OMNI-ZF is an atypical project in Cuba. It is an international project, working where and when circumstances make it possible, creating live spaces for dialogue at all levels of society through art.

OMNI-ZF Mission (2009-2010)

  • 1) To increase our organizational and training capacity in order to optimize and make our abilities and services feasible, to be economically independent so as to achieve greater freedom for national and international artistic action

    2) To develop relationships of cooperation with groups and people with similar principles

  • 3) To increase the promotion of art and general culture in the community and from the community to the nation and from there to the world

  • 4) To strengthen the vision of national reality, making direct contacts with other realities, arts and global communities where we can share and enrich our experience

  • 5) To carry out actions and create spaces for self healing, self awareness, and spiritual growth in the community

OMNI-ZF Vision

  • Meditation and Nation:
    to show meditation as an inner form of art, a transcendent method for the spiritual development of mankind and for the awakening of the practical knowledge of the soul: to propose that the soul is the possible and recognizable universal nation within each human being, in an immediate form.

  • Real space for creation:
    A space which makes room for a possible existence in a civilian system which doesn’t recognize the inner freedom of the individual. All this will be done through art an in an explicit form as part of our purposes.

The group’s spaces and events

In 1999 OMNI-ZF performed the first Inter-national Poetic Festival, Poetry without End (in Alamar). It started as a one day festival; nowadays it lasts for a month, during December, showcasing all kinds of art revolving around poetry. Prominent artists and intellectuals from Cuba and other parts of the world participate in the festival.

In 2004 the Cosmic Laboratorium was created, a space for the awakening of the mind and for vital creation, self healing and artistic and general knowledge training.

In 2005, with the support of the Spanish embassy in Cuba and the AECI (Spanish Agency for International Cooperation), the production company OMNI-ZF: Enforis Producciones is created for general sound production, audiovisual editing and artistic events, in 2009 it is expanded with the foundation of the Experimental Laboratory OMNIBUS for sound experimentation, production and music recording.

In 2006, together with the Project Inventati (Italy) and the funding of the European Commission, the MultimediaLaboratory OMNI is created. It aims to rescue the ample documentation of the group in different formats: soundtrack, VHS format, photographs, and writings, etc and also collaborates with other transcendent artistic projects, including in its archives foreign independent productions that are brought to our Project.

Enforis productions also takes over the creation of art events, concerts and public actions.

Spaces and services

All our spaces and services and events are open to anyone interested in Cuba and the world. We work for the spiritual prosperity of our community-city-country.

  • Cosmic Laboratorium (OMNI workshop):
    Founded in 2004, this is an open space where people share vital experiences of creation, self healing and training in practical knowledge.

  • General Services:
    • — Courses on professional knowledge in any branch of science or knowledge.
    • — Language Courses
    • — Courses on self healing and self awareness
    • — Promotion of spaces where to share vital, artistic and spiritual knowledge.

  • Enforis Producciones Multimedia Laboratory:
    This is the production company within the project, created in 2005, organized into the following departments:

    • 1) Audiovisual Laboratory: post production, editing, animation and special effects for audiovisuals. Services: -Filming, photography, assembling and editing, graphic and animated design, documentation, scanning of negatives and pages, standard size printing, photocopy, sets of photos

    • 2)  Experimental Laboratory OMNIBUS: space for making and recording music and sound experimentation. Services: Studio recording, remote recording,sound production for events, soundtracks and music, art DJ.

    • 3) DRIP: Laboratory for design, printing and publishing musical CD, DVD multimedia of: art videos, clips, documentaries, printed editions of books and catalogues. Services: Graphic design, multimedia design, burning of CD, DVD, graphic printing, editorial edition and publication, distribution and alternative sales.

  • Laboratory for design and production of shows, exhibitions, artistic interventions and events.
    Art direction, production, photography direction, lighting technique and illumination, audio and soundtrack design, advertising campaign design, scenography and setting, curatorship and painting montage, animation, organization and implementation of projects and artistic events.

  • Multimedia Archive OMNI-ZF
    Rescues the historical documents of the works of OMNI-ZF that were almost lost. It digitalizes the new documents, printed and audiovisual works of the group and also others from actions in Cuba and other parts of the world. Services: Digitalizing documents that exist in other formats, archive for any type of document (written, audiovisual, sound or painting), exhibition and use--fulfilling elemental conditions of copyright, of the patrimony of the archives.

  • Open Gallery OMNI
    Rationale and services: Autonomous space of OMNI-ZF, existing since 2002, to offer concerts, exhibitions, art in action, family reunions, weddings, movie shows, civic meetings. It is also a workshop for creation totally open to the community.

Future Project: Omni-Zonafranca International Residence

The physical space for the greater reaffirmation of OMNI-ZF still has to be created. It is about buying a piece of land or a residential house in Alamar in order to have an autonomous space with rooms for lodging and everyday needs. It will also include a theater gallery, workshops for the creation of visual arts, painting, ceramics, photography, audiovisual creation, sound and music experimentation, a stage for body creation, including experimental theater, theater-dance, modern dance, happenings and also a space to share and live together vital experiences of all types.


The idea is to continue doing what we have done for the past 12 years but in our own space. Given the present conditions of acceptance of new ideas in Cuba it is very possible to do something like that.

It is our fundamental intention to make this space work completely and with high quality in order to show the total diversity of thinking and art at the service of social and spiritual evolution in Cuba and the world. It will also be a space to act with total autonomy and without the insistent obstacles of the institutions.

Funding

OMNI-ZF group is organizing a self-managing economic system implementation, considering the breaches of the totalitarian laws and the flexibilities these are being forced to implement, which make room for independent economic initiatives. It will be a system based on collaboration and in making possible the feasibility of our abilities and the services that we can offer with art. At this moment, we are unable to be self managed economically speaking.

That is the reason why we need the economic collaboration of friends and institutions that acknowledge the importance of our work.