Some Impressions on a Havana Exhibition

Yanelys Nuñez Leyva

Work by Aluan Argüelles

HAVANA TIMES — One of the artists involved, Aluan Arguelles, suggested I go see the exhibition, but, the day I want to Havana’s La Cabaña fortress, wing 3 of pavilion J, the gallery space, was closed, as were several others. Do they lack the personnel needed to look after the works? Perhaps. I don’t know.

The days passed, the Havana Biennale came to a close and I was unable to go back to La Cabaña, so I decided to obtain information about the exhibition. I spoke Aluan again and he passed on some info and images.

I know little about the work of the other artists. Apparently, there are all quite young.

Evelynn Alvarez, Liesther Amador, Monica Batard, Winslon L. Hernández, Yusnier Mentado, Linet Sanchez and Argüelles, whom I’ve mentioned already, are the artists whose works make up this expo titled Universal (Disambiguation).

Work by Aluan Argüelles

The play on words of the title was the first thing that caught my eye. “Disambiguation” is a term I come across time and time again while navigating my “domestic Internet” connection, the Wiki Taxi, and I don’t entirely understand its meaning.

I read a bit about it and suddenly got it: the exhibition functions metaphorically as a Wikipedia disambiguation page, in which the different meanings are ascribed to a single word. In this case, it is the word “universal.”

I like the idea.

The wide range of media – installations, photographs, video-art, drawings, paintings and others – efficiently contribute to the plurality being sought through the premise.

Yusnier Mentado. Evolution of resistence.

If we go to the essence of all the pieces, we find innumerable nooks and crannies that also invite reflection.

Individual and collective memory, the formulation of landscapes as an expression of dreams, power mechanisms and the subterfuges of manipulation, the pain of emigration and warmongering policies, erupt from the links of this “page.”

The characters, imaginaries and concerns that preoccupy the artists are not limited to Cuba, which is perhaps something that favors the exhibition, as we are dealing with burdens, longings, fears, technological and intellectual revolutions and impulses that cut through local identities and the human experience as a whole.