Exhibition of Cuban artists at M.Žilinskas Art Gallery Kotryna Džilavjanaitė, 2006 07 02

Maraniela Orozko Rodriguez "Action Zone". Photo by Rimantė Ropytė.

Soap bubble of Walter Velazques Chaviano attracts to "The Most Important National Product". Photo by Rimantė Ropytė.

Painting of domestic items of Yuri Santana Garcia - "Wonderful Maura". Photo by Rimantė Ropytė.

In brief: Three hundred sunny days per year, white sands of Varadero, coral reefs, Havana cigars, carnivals, poor but always smiling people. A little bit of E. Hemingway, Che Guevara and, of course, Fidel Castro with his unforgettable utopia of communism. This is the image of Cuba created for tourists. Still, what Cuba is in reality?


The author searched for the answer in the exhibition of young Cuban artists “Heartbeat” (supervisor Malgorzata Basinska) open at M.Žilinskas Art Gallery. The exhibition does not smell of the exotics and ethnical features at all; moreover, it is not clear what the Cuban mentality is in general. The art critic Elvia Rosa Castro states that Cuba does not have its identity at all: “The truth is that we do not have our substrate, the very essence, and the worst is that it may not exist, when there is so much water around us.“


It is likely that Cubans really experience the problem of a closed island. The exhibition presents much cosmopolitan ideas and it seems that Cubans do not feel their roots. Still, the author believes that the Cuban identity exists and it is described by the concept of rebelliousness. The revolution that is present in Cuban blood may be felt in the works of older Cuban artists - Gustavo Perez, Jose Bedia, Ruben Llorca and others. Meanwhile, the exhibition “Heartbeat” may be called a silent contempt of this rebelliousness. The concept of the exhibition is focused on abstract concepts, metaphysical ideas, existential forebodings.


Artists close their eyes against the reality as they do not expect to change it, they contemplate their own statuses and moods. The new generation of Cuban artists does not picture the reality, it is interested in illusion, creates autobiographical and even intimate works. The Cuban heart is beating, but only slightly. It is smothered by the whisperings of the dreaming island. What will happen when it will open its eyes, questions the author.

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