Counting to Ten to Give Greater Visibility

By Yusimi Rodriguez  (Photos: Irina Pino)

Defiance. From the series Against all odds by Alfonso Blanco
Defiance. From the series Against all odds by Alfonso Blanco


HAVANA TIMES — Giving visibility to artistic phenomena which aren’t covered by national media. This was young Wendy Gonzalez’s intention, curator of the “Counting to Ten” Photography Exhibition.

Featuring the works of 19 Cuban photographers, the exhibition was opened to the public on May 30th in the Ruben Martinez Villena Room at the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC).

As Wendy González Rojas explains, “Counting to Ten” is one of the most common and simplest means we have to keep our anger under control, and therefore is a phrase associated with tolerance. And this is precisely the subject of this collective exhibition. However, here we not only count to ten in order to find inner peace, but also to celebrate UNEAC’s Photography Workshop’s 10th anniversary, which is directed by Alberto (El Chino) Arcos. The 19 photographers who are exhibiting their work in “Counting to Ten” have all graduated from this workshop.

However, UNEAC’s Photography Workshop, which was created in 2006, five years before private initiatives came into being, has no visibility in our national media, even on digital platforms. This claim isn’t unfounded and is the result of Wendy Gonzalez’s extensive research.

Wendy: “The only exception was a report on the exhibition found on the Quinque website.

Curating the “Counting to Ten” exhibition formed part of Wendy’s State Exam as she is graduating in Art History from the University of Havana’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities. Her exam was awarded 5 points from her professors who went to the exhibition’s inauguration, and one of them even read her assessment out loud in front of the audience.

As well as this practical task which concluded her exam, Wendy had to develop a theoretical design for a website, write a script about the photography workshop for the TV program “Miradas Artisticas” (Artistic perspectives), hold meetings with artists and write an essay about stage photography.

Wendy Gonzalez displays a special interest for photography as she considers it one of the most avant-garde of visual art forms in the world as it is in Cuba. She chose these nineteen photographers because they were all graduates from the workshop and because of the quality of their work. Selecting works was a negotiation process. It wasn’t always the case that the work she chose, because it fit the exhibition’s aesthetic criteria and subject, was also the artist’s favorite. This was the case with “Modern Suffocation”, a photo by Yanara Mauri, which Wendy chose when asked to pose next to the photo she liked the most in the exhibition.

Wendy: “It isn’t one of Yanara’s favorites, but I like it a lot because it contemplates the conflict between opposites.

Other works which my colleagues and I find interesting are: “Sellers” by Julio Imperatori; the untitled photograph by Harold Ferrer which shows a wooden cross with the word “Let’s reconcile our differences”; “Wrinkles of Time” by Luis Pons and “The Area” by Adrian Fuentes, about the more and more busy WIFI access points.

The other photographers who have taken part in this exhibition are:  Jose Ariel Alonso, Jose Ernesto Aonso, Alfonso Blanco Sierra, Javier Bobadilla, Miriam Bonachea, Yangtse Clemente, Williams Cruz, Ariana Dominguez, Alejandra Gonzalez, Mileidy Moran, Israel Moya, Eduardo Perez, Ihosvany Plasencia y Angel Vazquez.”

The exhibition will be open to the public throughout the month of June.

Tolerance below zero by Adriana Dominguez.
Tolerance below zero by Adriana Dominguez.


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