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Shifting Tides: Cuban Photography after the Revolution

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El Banco (The Bench) by José Manuel       Fors

It is not here either by Ernesto        Leal

Sin Titulo (Untitled)  by Rigoberto        Romero

Sin titulo (Untitled) by Abigail       González

Sin titulo (Untitled) by Abigail       González
Los Angeles County Museum of Art ,
Apr 15, 2001 - Jul 01, 2001
Los Angeles, CA, USA

Exhibition Review

The Current Generation

The Current Generation of artists is distinctive for many reasons, not the least of which is their status of having never lived in a pre-Castro Cuba. While the previous generation's concerns centered around a reclamation of personal histories and mythologies, contemporary artists using photography in Cuba today extend this to include meditations on personal and conceptual space. Their art must be viewed through an awareness of the artist within an international art dialog tempered by the organic flow of the Cuban cultural, political, and socio-economic structure. In so doing, the last generation, which includes Pedro Abascal, Manuel PiƱa, Carlos Garaicoa, Abigail González, and Ernesto Leal, sketches a radically new conception of Cuba as a site of truly integrated personal and collective identities. They are working with a visual language that is at once both sophisticated and highly conceptual. Employing lush color as well as traditional black-and-white images, mixed media and installation, they provide a commentary on the current state of life and art on the island.

Photography in the Cuba of Fidel Castro has been, and remains a thriving means of artistic expression. Photographers working in the aftermath of the military revolution have compiled through their images a legacy of a people, a country, and also of the revolution itself. From the epic pictures of the new social order that followed the Revolution through the experimental reclamations of personal histories that defined a new generation, to the intensely individualized spatial investigations of the most contemporary work of artists using photography, Shifting Tides: Cuban Photography after the Revolution provides insights into not only the evolution of the photographic tradition of art making in Cuba, but also the trajectory and character of the revolution that spanned it.

* This text was taken from the exhibition press release at LACMA, with their permission to reproduce.

To read Christopher Knight's exhibition review in the Los Angeles Times, please click onto,1419,L-LATimes-Art-X!ArticleDetail-29868,00.html

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