Robaina's plantation

Monday, 9 February 2015

Fábrica de Arte (Cubano) F.A.C. (Entertainment Venue & Art Gallery...) Havana

                 The title of this post is a little confusing but that's because this place is many things. It was the brainchild of musician X Alfonso who was born onto Entertainment Royalty. Alfonso's parents led the famous band 'Sintesis' which was founded in the 60's and he himself has been playing music since he was 7 years old (34 years). He had this grand idea to incorporate all artistic representations under one roof....Performance Arts, Cinema, Paintings, Video-Art, Photography, Live Concerts, Installations, Contemporary Dance, D.J.s, Exhibitions & Intranet (not internet) for chatting or surfing on your cellphone while you're there. I'm sure I missed something or they've added something since my last visit but it's safe to say that Art of some form or another fills every space of this large warehouse from floor to ceiling. The 'El Cocinero' factory, as it used to be called, was a cooking oil factory and warehouse near the Puente de Hierro (iron bridge) in Vedado.
                  They opened their doors to the public on February 13, 2014. I had been reading about this place while it was under construction and was looking forward to my visit in May. Be aware, as I found out the hard way, it's closed Monday-Wednesday. There's a 2cuc cover and you're given a card to resemble their ration book that you'll have stamped for every purchase. No money is exchanged at the beverage bar or infusion-snack bar, you pay on your way out. However, don't lose that booklet or you'll pay a flat rate of 30cuc. The place was quite full and there was sooo much going on, you didn't know which way to go first. Paintings, Installation Art, Photography and Sculptures were everywhere along the way to wherever you were going. We walked by a room that had a pair of Rappers belting out the state of affairs (or lack of it) in Cuba to a funky beat. Made me think how far Cuba has come since I started visiting 12 years ago. This kind of expression was not as well received as it is today. We kept going, walking through the maze that the Fabrica calls the Labyrinth, continually stopping to view works of art from dozens of artists some of which are famous both in Cuba and abroad. We finally made it upstairs where there was more art and one large room dedicated to Visual Arts...Plays, Cinema, Shorts and (until the Concert Hall is renovated) Live Music. There's a spacious Patio setup out back with more works of art, this is one of two smoking areas, there is no smoking allowed inside. They had some weird movie playing the night we were there. In one corner of the room they had a bar set up selling coffees, teas and munchies.
                   Having checked out the entire place, we went back downstairs to the bar, ordered a couple of drinks and found a perch where we could observe. It was then that we realized we were the oldest people there. The youth of Havana were crammed within these 4 walls but they weren't your average demographic. Here you will find the sons & daughters of the more well to do Cubans. They were up to date with the latest fashion and sporting some trendy hairstyles. We felt perfectly safe, nobody paid us any special attention. Since I'm a Cigar Smoker, the fact that you can't smoke inside is a deterrent for me but I have to make the effort to return. The Art is changed every so often, I'm sure it will have happened by my next trip. It's a really cool spot, I would recommend a visit, it's a great way to view art. I came back during the day a couple of days later hoping to interview Alfonso but he couldn't afford me the time.

Thurs.-Sun. 8pm-4am

Fabrica de Arte Cubano F.A.C.
26 esq. Calle 11
Vedado, Havana
tel. +53(5) 2374550   +53(5) 2638266

PS...........the art is for sale.

1 comment:

  1. This is one of the most astonishing venues that I've attended for my numerous experiences. This place is spot on with the decorations. The overall experience at party halls in Boston MA was amazing! Had a fun and comfortable time here.