Yanelys Nuñez Leyva
HAVANA TIMES — The Center for the Development of the Visual Arts located in Old Havana was the venue of a month-long, joint exhibition displaying the works of Yusnier Mentado Fernandez (1983) and Vladmir Gonzalez Portales (1977).
Sharing a single gallery space, the pieces by the two artists did not have any direct or explicit relationship, making this contemporary art exhibition a rather refreshing experience.
Making use of video, installations and technological gadgets of considerable visual impact, the works toyed with the senses and emotions of the spectators, forced to interact with the pieces.
Mentado’ exhibition, mounted at one of the gallery spaces on the ground floor, was titled Night Scene Illusion. It was one of the projects awarded the Estudio 21 Creative Scholarship in 2011.
In the exhibition catalogue, art expert Frency tells us: “Deploying a ‘clearly’ minimalist beauty, [the piece] flirts with the sociological, civil and anthropological trauma of a society that is overburdened, exhausted by or lost in a strange darkness.”
The works of Gonzalez, an artist who has been living in France for some time now, focus on the issue of human migration, a subject he has addressed in previous (lost) pieces such as Fuga y Egares (“Fleeing and Straying”).
On display at the first floor of the Center, Gonzalez’s two pieces, Huellas (“Traces”) and Entre mar y tierra (“Between Sea and Land”), found a meeting point where the feeling of banishment, of loss and emptiness, prevailed.
The artist conveys to us his preoccupations with white sheets marked by the feet of people who have walked on them and by staging a game involving the real and the illusory through a screen and some origami figures.
With this exhibition, the young artists offered us a different, enjoyable and thought-provoking experience.