Timely Debut


Liudmila + Nelson, (Cuban, est. 1993), San LÁzaro e Infanta, from the series, Hotel Habana, 2009–2012, courtesy of the artists.

Amid news of normalization efforts between the United States and Cuba, Apertura [Opening]: Photography in Cuba Today has made a timely debut at the Chazen Museum of Art. The exhibit contemplates the ways in which Cuban photography has evolved over the past two decades of transition.

Artist duo Liudmila & Nelson created this piece, San Lázaro e Infanta, by overlapping a contemporary photo of a busy Havana intersection with an old negative and digitally adding faux elements.

“This image fuses the pre-Revolutionary days, the present, and a possible future in a disquieting way,” says Guillermina De Ferrari, guest curator of the exhibit and a UW–Madison professor of Spanish and Portuguese. “The glossy fake [advertising] signs suggest a Havana that has given in to consumption, which may bring a sense of freedom and prosperity, but also a loss of tradition and authenticity.”

Published in the Summer 2015 issue


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