Art Culture

¡Cuba! Art and History from 1868 to Today in Montreal

| September 29, 2021
Date de sortie The Beginning After ...
Date de sortie The Beginning After The End chapitre 161
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Cuba

With Fidel Castro’s recent resignation announcement, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts ¡Cuba! Art and History from 1868 to Today couldn’t come at a more interesting time. The United States imposed embargo on Cuba in 1963 cut off US-Cuba political relations and strained even the ones on a more personal level. Canada has been more accepting to the Caribbean nation, and it seems that the Museum’s exhibition has managed to do with art what has been impossible in politics: bring the United States and Cuba together.

The exhibition showcases the artwork of Cuba by displaying some 400 pieces, both from Cuba and the United States. An effort is made to present not only the artistic side of the island, but also the historical and political one. Through photographs, documents, music and film excerpts we see an island nation that has experienced some of the most crucial turning points in the 20th century, from decolonization to the Cold War.

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The exhibition is presented in five sections: Depicting Cuba: Finding Ways to Express a Nation (1868-1927); Arte Nuevo: The Avant-garde and the Re-creation of Identity (1927-1938); Cubanness: Affirming a Cuban Style (1938-1959); Within the Revolution, Everything, Against the Revolution, Nothing (1959-1979); The Revolution and Me: The Individual Within History (1980-2007).

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Canada provides a neutral place for two sides of a politically charged relationship to come together. This collaboration between the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, the Fototeca de Cuba, the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum and many private collections features the work of over 100 artists. Beyond impressive artwork, this exhibition is a reminder that art can be an important space in which we can freely exchange ideas and sentiments.

The work behind the exhibit is equally interesting, and at the Museum’s website you can read an interview with chief curator Nathalie Bondile on how the show came about. The exhibition runs through June 8, 2008.

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