Coffee Plantation, 2001
Photograph by Everton Ballardin
For the first time in Finland, the Helsinki City Art Museum will put on an extensive exhibition of Cuban Contemporary Art. Presented at the Tennis Palace, the exhibition includes the artists Tania Bruguera, René Francisco and Luis Gomez, and the groups Los Carpinteros (Alexandre Arrechea, Marco Antonio Castillo, Dagoberto Rodriguez) and Ordo Amoris Cabinet (Francis Acea, Diango Hernandez). They belong to a new generation of Cuban artists that has aroused considerable international interest. The artists will come to Helsinki to set up their installations in the spacious third-floor gallery at the Tennis Palace.
Cuba – With eyes of stone and water is an overview of current Cuban Contemporary Art through the work of three Cuban artists and two artist groups, who all live and work permanently in Cuba. The exhibition includes videos and installations, such as a forest of antennas hanging upside down from the ceiling, a swimming pool, a coffee plantation with espresso pots planted in it and a public toilet.
The subtitle With eyes of stone and water is a quote from the Cuban poet Nicolás Guillén’s poem A long, green lizard. It refers to the plurality of realities within the works shown in the exhibition and to the way the artists deal with their relationships to their homeland, its values, history and culture, as well as globalization and communication. They live and work in a society that is partly closed and still holds on to its revolution, despite the globalizing world around it. They deal with rather serious issues with a twinkle of humour, which has made their work extremely communicative on a number of levels.
Cuba – With eyes of stone and water is the latest exhibition in the Helsinki City Art Museum’s long-running series of shows on Latin American art. The Museum has previously put on exhibitions by Frida Kahlo, Fernando Botero, Ana Mendieta, Diego Rivera and Tina Modotti, and a comprehensive exhibition of Latin American contemporary artists entitled The garden of forking paths. It has also displayed a Mexican altar for the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) festival.
The exhibition is sponsored by Antenni-Asennus Oy, Astoka Oy, Metsä Tissue Corporation, Pro Av Saarikko Oy, Pumpputuote Oy and Suomen Sokeri Oy.
Exhibition Cuba – With eyes of stone and water, organized by the Helsinki City Art Museum and curated by Malin Barth.
Further information: Curator Mikko Oranen, +358-(0)9-310 87011, +358-(0)50 345 8537 / Assistant Curator Saara Suojoki, +358-(0)9-310 87018, +358-(0)50 529 1346 / Educational Curator Arja Miller, +358-(0)9-310 87007, +358-(0)50-336 1980 / press material: Press Secretary Karri Buchert, +358-(0)9-310 87004, +358-(0)50-304 6707.
Guided tours: Guided tours are given to the public free of charge in Finnish on Wednesdays at 18 and Saturdays and Sundays at 14 o’clock, and in Swedish on the first and third Sunday of each month at 13 o’clock. To book tours at other times and in other languages, please call +358-9-310 87003.
Point of view: the curator Malin Barth will give a talk on the exhibition on Thursday, May 25 at 18 o’clock, and on Thursday, August 28 at 18 o’clock, Assistant Curator Saara Suojoki will talk about what inspired the exhibition and the project that led up to it.