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For Cuban Artists, Water Is a Border and a Bridge

BU Art Gallery exhibition explores culture, past and present

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Click above to hear Natania Remba talk about the show she curated, Surrounded by Water: Expressions of Freedom and Isolation in Contemporary Cuban Art.

For the exhibition Surrounded by Water: Expressions of Freedom and Isolation in Contemporary Cuban Art, Natania Remba (GRS’09) brought together 19 current Cuban artists for their interpretation of the element of water. The art in the exhibition, which runs through April 8, 2008, at the Boston University Art Gallery at the Stone Gallery, varies, and includes Tomás Sánchez’s soothing landscape painting Orilla, and Relax, Iván Capote’s sculpture of seashells and leather, made to look like a set of headphones.

“Water can separate,” says Remba, a graduate student in art history whose specialty is Latin American art. “But it can also bridge, and in fact, many of the works represented in this exhibition are collaborations between Cuban and American artists.”

One such cross-border collaboration is La edad de oro (The Golden Age), a video triptych about the 1999 custody battle over Elián González, a Cuban boy turned over to U.S. officials after his mother died in a failed immigration attempt. Another joint project includes work from the Cuban artist collective known as Los Carpinteros, whose members created a three-dimensional map of Havana on flip-flop sandals.

Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, an artist and founder of the Gallery Artists Studio Projects in Brookline, Mass., will speak about Surrounded by Water at noon today, Thursday, March 6, at the BUAG, 855 Commonwealth Ave. Remba will give a gallery tour on Thursday, March 20. The gallery is free and open to the public; hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Call 617-353-3329 for more information.

Kimberly Cornuelle can be reached kcornuel@bu.edu.

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