Meetings

Collective June 2008

Man and his circumstance

On multiple occasions we have come together to investigate those aspects that contributed to the boom of Cuban photography since the deep changes brought about by the triumph of the Revolution, an explosion that stimulated social commitment, the urge for renewal and a special sensibility toward group participation. For that reason it was no coincidence that the first images of a photography that assumed the recording of concrete living experiences as its responsibility were presented to us by the daily and periodical press, and for that reason it was committed to a much greater extent than any other art genre with expressing its relation to society, since it was the testimonial value what defined the social nature of that form, granting the category of art to the daily events.

Outstandingly diverse images of human beings, animals, landscapes and objects connected by the same formal treatment succeed in differentiating themselves through the peculiar glance of each photographer.

Man and his circumstance continued to be the target in the treatment of the image among the generations that followed, but other technical resources have been formally added, the form begins to be acknowledged by the cultural institutions and begins to insert itself in the Latin American space. The photographic essay and the serial work are used as a critical treatment and a very efficient means of expression; other concepts, definitions and ways of facing the genre without discarding the social element change and enrich the national outlook with the passing of time, benefited by the wide dissemination given to the diversity of themes, which include double glance, popular, marginal, kitsch or conceptual, elements that play an important role in the work of the youngest photographers attempting to move in more contemporary aesthetics: divide and/or manipulate reality, search in the psychological sphere, enhance the treatments with new codes of representation with the intention and power to dignify and transform any object or event of daily life into something extraordinary.

This selection we present today was cured with the participation of its authors. Its guiding string lies in the atmosphere that seeks to excel the limits of time and space, promote a new reading of the images whose essence is expressed in the peculiar way in which every author utilizes the present or absent man as expressive resource. When sharing the same space, the photographs find the same space, a fortunate link that remits us to a style, a concept, an environment.

The group we have entitled Encounters grants new value to the images by fulfilling one of the categories that typify us in art: the unity in the diversity, honest photos expressed as languages, which seek to make their creed as expressed by Tina Modotti in her manifesto one of truth and quality.

Lesbia Vent Dumois
May 2008

Artworks

Untitled

René Peña 2005

From the series Made-in-Cuba: Threshold

Lissette Solórzano 2001

Urban Landscape

Pedro Abascal 2007

Untitled

Juan Carlos Alom 1989

Untitled

Juan Carlos Alom 1989

From the essay The Passengers

Gilda Pérez 1993

Playing

Ernesto Javier Fernández Zalacaín 1986

Untitled Guanabo

Ramón Martínez Grandal 1989

Untitled II

Mario Díaz 2000

Yateras

Humberto Mayol 1993

From the essay So Are Cubans

Roberto Salas 2007

Rubber Ceiling

Enrique de la Uz

From the series AM-PM

Alejandro González Méndez 2005

From the series Absolut Revolution

Liudmila and Nelson 2002

The Eyes of God

Yoana Yelín 2005

From the series Untitled

Tessio Barba 2008

Love in the Chinese Quarter

Liborio Noval 2002

From the series Angola

Ernesto Fernández 1982

From the series Coexistence

Ramón Pacheco 2005

Artists