Collective exhibition through April 13, 2014 (catalogue available)

Conceived by Cuban artist and critic, Antonio Eligio (Tonel) and Associate Director/Curator of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Keith Wallace, this exhibition focuses on the social spaces and shared sensibilities of this dynamic city, as opposed to an attempt to survey an entire nation’s artistic output. The Spaces Between explores contemporary Havana from artistic, cultural, sociological, and anthropological perspectives within a new social and economic reality that has made itself evident in Cuba in recent years. While most works seem to convey a disinterest in the political, it does take form in the imagination of the viewer, an artistic strategy that emphasizes how important the spectator has become in the making of meaning in visual art. Hence the title of the exhibition—The Spaces Between—that is, the spaces between the artwork and its reception, between the said and the unsaid, and between the past and the future.

Juan Carlos Alom, Las plantas medicinales florecen de nuevo, 2012

Juan Carlos Alom, Las plantas medicinales florecen de nuevo, 2012

This exhibition will provide an update on Utopian Territories: New Art From Cuba that showed at the Belkin and other Vancouver galleries in 1997, and will feature works by Juan Carlos Alom, Javier Castro, Sandra Ceballos Obaya, Celia-Yunior, Ricardo G. Elías, Luis Gárciga Romay, Luis Gómez Armenteros, Jesús Hdez-Güero, Ernesto Leal, Glenda León, Eduardo Ponjuán González, Grethell Rasúa, Lázaro Saavedra González and Jorge Wellesley.

The artists in the exhibition are cross-generational; some have international reputations while others are younger and not so well known abroad. Some of the artists are teachers of other artists in the exhibition, thus there exists a legacy that threads through the exhibition. While the validity of exhibitions based around national or civic parameters have come under critical scrutiny; Cuba, and in turn, Havana, present a different context. Cuba, due to its internal political agenda and lack of physical access to the outside world for most of its citizens, tends towards an introverted and a self-conscious sense of identity within a global context. The artists in The Spaces Between are exploring ways of articulating this phenomenon both through direct social engagement and through practices carried out in the privacy of one’s studio.

Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, University of British Columbia, 1825 Main Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Exhibition on view Tuesday-Friday, between 10am – 6pm, and Sat-Sundays 12-5pm, from January 10 through April 13, 2014.

Headline picture’s credits : Grethell Rasúa, cuadro del video De la permanencia y otras necesidades / Of Permanence and Other Necessities, 2013 / Courtesy of the artist