The latest issue of the Miami New Times has an interesting review of an exhibition of several photographers’ work. The exhibit is appropriately titled Cuba: As Time Stands Still, 2007.
Here are some good excerpts from the review:
Gallery owner Lourdes Guerra says this is the second time she has curated a show of the same title in her space â€” the first was in 2005 â€” and that the works displayed in both installments were chosen to convey a sense of the island (Cuba) being stuck in a surreal time warp.
Indeed, it is stuck in a time warp. All thanks to one man.
Oh, but there’s more:
(Photographer Ghada) Khunji shares a deep sympathy with her subjects, yet also steers clear of letting her work slip into the maudlin, or veer toward propaganda, like many of the New Deal photographers did. She seems to stick to the bare-face facts, craftily detaching herself and eschewing editorializing. Her pictures are full of details and textures, and seemingly even sounds and scents, that speak volumes of an island forgotten by time, where the conditions that sparked the revolution still remain unchanged.
I beg to differ. Conditions have WORSENED CONSIDERABLY since the revolution. But I digress…
Balseros 1, one of the dramatic digital prints displayed near the gallery’s entrance, depicts nearly a dozen men carrying a raft fashioned from wooden beams with several truck tire inner tubes lashed to them. Roughly the size of a motor home, the raft is covered with a sturdy black canopy to shield the men from the blistering sun as they attempt to cross the Florida Straits. The men are making their launch in broad daylight and are glimpsed from behind as they struggle with their flimsy craft in knee-deep water a few feet from shore.
The Miami New Times is as liberal as they come but for the most part–if memory serves me correctly–they avoid apologizing for Castro. Witness the ending of the review:
The show is a reminder why “Sending Fidel a telegram” has become such a popular euphemism for taking a dump among Miami’s exilio community. That point is further driven home in the gallery’s bathroom, where the toilet paper is plastered with El Comandante’s gob.
I know what I and a few million others would like to plaster El Comandante’s gob with.