Chazen Museum of Art


Chazen Exhibit Explores the Art and Cultural Climate of Cuba

January 8, 2015

President Obama recently announced that the United States will move toward normalizing relations with Cuba. An embassy in Havana and diplomatic relations will be reestablished, and travel restrictions will be eased—although ordinary tourism is still banned. But visitors to the Chazen Museum of Art will be able to take an intimate look at current photographic art from the island nation with the opening of an exhibition of contemporary Cuban photography March 6–June 21.

Apertura: Photography in Cuba Today explores the way photography is used, understood, and experienced in Cuba in times of transition. Guest curator Guillermina De Ferrari has assembled photography-based installations, digital photomontage and “intervened photography” by eight contemporary Cuban artists. The exhibition explores how photography and photographic practice have changed on the island over the last two decades and how it creates meaning in light of the technological, philosophical, and aesthetic changes during that time.

In contrast with the highly stylized documentary images of the young Revolution, the new Cuban photography aims to shape reality by creating a syntax of expressive artifacts, one in which the printed image becomes one element in a complex discursive practice. New Cuban photography-based art creates an imaginary space of aesthetic openness—apertura in Spanish—against or in play with what is perceived to be an artificially stagnant political reality.

Opening Celebration March 5
5:30–6:30 p.m. lecture: “No More Boundaries for Cuban Photography” by Nelson Ramírez de Arellano Conde, participating artist and director of the National Photography Museum in Havana. Chazen Auditorium.
6:30–8 p.m. preview reception: Live music, refreshments, and cash bar. Mead Witter Lobby.

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Media contact: Kirstin Pires

The Chazen Museum of Art is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. The museum is located on the campus of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. The main entrance is accessible to wheelchairs. Parking is available at the City of Madison State Street Campus Ramp (entrances on Frances and Lake streets) and under University Square. Hourly parking is available in the UW lot 46 with credit card payment. Evening and weekend parking is also available in UW lot 83 under Fluno Center, entrance on Frances Street, and in UW lot 7 under Grainger Hall, entrance on Brooks Street. The Chazen will provide sign language interpreters for associated programs by three-week advance request to Anne Lambert, Curator of Education, weekdays, (608) 263-4421 (voice). Information is also available by visiting our website at

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