UMBRAL: A COLLECTIVE EXHIBITION ON CONTEMPORARY CUBAN ART
On Saturday, March 5, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and the Montserrat Contemporary Art gallery began the Umbral contemporary art exhibition, organized under the curatorship of Cuban artists Anamely Ramos and Claudia Genlui Hidalgo.
The exhibition opens an Umbral – or threshold – to attempt to show the threads of a country struggling to survive. This threshold is thought of as a space of urgency and convergence where creative experiences of diverse resistance are discussed. In the Umbral, not everything is said, only what can be said at the moment of danger.
Various Cuban artists that are a part of this exhibition have directly suffered from the consequences of exercising their freedom of expression through the arts. Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara has found himself detained since July of 2021 in a prison in Havana. Others have suffered violations of their freedom of mobilization, like Anyelo Troya, who is not permitted to leave Cuba despite having an education scholarship in Mexico, and Anamely Ramos, who was prevented from returning to Cuba in February 2022 after American Airlines did not allow her to board her plane on orders from the Cuban regime. In spite of the abuses, the message of resistance lives on in the Cuban artistic movement, and this exhibition reflects its powerful message.
Together with the curational management, twenty-two (22) artists from different artistic variants take part in this exhibition that makes a call for attention and resistance. Aryam Rodriguez, with her photographic series, “El Ron de Cuba,” warns over the distribution of rum bottles to families as a strategy frequently used by the Cuban state to divert attention and cloud the discernment of the serious shortages suffered by the Cuban people. Camila R. Lobón, with her three ink-on-paper works, calls attention to how art is capable of escaping the control of state security and becoming an image of resistance and struggle. For his part, Osmani Pardo, with the sculpture, “Árbol de la Libertad,” reminds us that there exists no confinement or method of restriction that can stop the desires of a people that demands liberty.
This exhibition will be open to the public until March 30 in the Montserrat Contemporary Art gallery, located at 547 West 27 Street, New York City. For more information about visits and art pieces available for sale, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Umbral Exhibition Artists:
Camila R. Lobón
Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara
Julio César Llópiz-Casal
Eliexer Funk (El Funky)
Frank R. Aguiar