“El Yuma” Contemporary Cuban Art

Exhibitions, Fall 2017

“El Yuma,” Contemporary Cuban Art

Curated by Sachie Hernández and A.D. Guerra

Exhibition on view from Oct. 19 – Dec. 15, 2017. Opening reception, Oct. 19, 5PM.
Curator’s talk, Oct. 19, 4-5PM in Cheray Science Hall #101.

An exhibition by contemporary Cuban artists examining images, histories and fantasies about the United States.

“El Yuma” is a term used in Cuba to describe the United States, popularized with the original 1957 film 3:10 to Yuma. By extension, the word “Yumas” now refers to foreigners, especially North Americans.

Co-curators Sachie Hernández and A.D. Guerra first created this show in late 2016 for a Boston gallery. At that time, the US and Cuba were improving relations. Hernández highlighted the curators’ desire for visual art to be part of “a more transparent, dynamic and respectful exchange between the peoples of Cuba and the United States.” The images that citizens have of each other fold into that exchange, and she says, “From our side, despite the Revolution or because of it, we Cubans cannot escape our fascination for this country.”

While some elements of the show are overtly political, others explore historical, cultural and social themes. Hernández emphasizes that there is no single political message to find amongst these diverse pieces. Her point is especially important now, in late 2017, because of the fraught, often hyper-politicized history of US/Cuba relations. These relations took an unexpected new turn with the withdrawal of staff from the US embassy in Havana at the close of September. Amid these confusions, visual art makes space for questions, emotions, and meditations that do not fit into predictable, oppositional rhetoric.

Read full curatorial essay

Read Review by Rachel Elizabeth Jones

Saint Michael’s Student Comments

Check out the review in Seven Days

“My Modest Opinion” installation detail, Angel Ricardo Rios, 2016, shown at AREA Gallery, Boston, MA

Jesús Hdez-Güero

Capital Cutout in Transit Sites

Series #4 The United States, 2016

Photography on Hahnemühle FineArt Baryta

300 gr /m2 and bills (money)

This exhibition is made possible through generous funding from the Marc and Dana vanderHeyden Endowment in Fine Arts