Andres Serrano — Cuba
Past: November 28, 2013 → January 16, 2014
For this new exhibition, the photographer presents about twenty pictures coming from his new photo serie Cuba.
This serie of photographs, by the acclaimed American photographer, born in 1950 in New York, began in May 2012. It was the first time that he went to the country where his mother grew up (she was not born there but spent her childhood and youth in Cuba). He consequently forged a complex relation with Cuban culture: Spanish is therefore his mother tongue, and if he has always been surrounded by these influences — whether it is the language or state of mind — he still had a lack of intimate knowledge of the country, its political state or its history.
It is, consequently, without any forged prejudice or ideas that he accepted the invitation of the Havana Biennale to discover Cuba in order to make an important work in situ.
The living room of a private house is quickly turned into a photo studio and thanks to his local assistants, Serrano is able to take portraits of intellectuals, musicians, artists, writers but also unknown persons that he met through discovering the city. Like in his famous portrait serie (Nomads, America or The Clan), the sitter is often depicting as a representant of a social group, monumentalized against a blank background, in front of the camera which captures the shadows around his face and the different textures and bright colors of his clothing.
Yet, he goes outside to meet residents and to take pictures of the city intimacy : colonial indoors houses that reminds the magnifience of past time, residents in their routine day lives in arrangement that falls into the classic tradiction of genre scenes, or still life reworked… However, soon enough, the photographer lacks time and extends his trip of a month with the firm attention of coming back. What he does six week later under the form of a ten days road trip through the country.
“I wanted to conquer, discover and embrace Cuba. She became my home, my studio, my family, my Muse. She inspired me and called out to me in ways I could not have imagined. I waited a lifetime to see Cuba and now I wanted to see all of her.”
The photo serie presented for the occasion of the exhibition in Paris is a selection among hundreds of pictures, which gives an overview of the discovery and appreciation of a country that appears to us as odd familiarity. The Cuba serie, therefore, develops a true portrait of the country, not like a photographer who documents a subject, but as an artist who uses photography as a way to recreate his own reality.
Opening Thursday, November 28, 2013 at 6 PM
108, rue Vieille du Temple
T. 01 42 71 09 33 — F. 01 42 71 87 47
Tuesday – Friday, 10 AM – 1 PM / 2:30 PM – 7 PM
Saturday, 10 AM – 7 PM