Apertura: Photography in Cuba Today - Page 9

Foreword In 2013 when Prof. Gullermina De Ferrari, director of the Center for Visual Cultures and professor of Spanish at UW–Madison, proposed an exhibition of current Cuban photography at the Chazen, we had no way of knowing how timely the show would be. The proposal for Apertura: Photography in Cuba Today was accepted and developed on its own merits; the opportunity to show work by artists living and working in Cuba was something we knew our audiences would enjoy. The opportunity to work with colleagues at the University across departments and disciplines is something the Chazen always welcomes. Support for the exhibition has been provided by the Chazen Museum of Art Council, the UW-Madison Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies Program with support from the US Department of Education’s Title VI Grant Program and from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Center for the Humanities, Center for Visual Cultures, and the Anonymous Fund provided monies for events related to the exhibition including artists’ travel. With the administration’s recent pledge to normalize U.S.–Cuban relations, this extraordinary exhibition offers additional interest to an audience whose curiosity has been piqued by increased news coverage of the island nation. The Cuba represented by the a rtists in Apertura may not exist for long once diplomatic relations—and the commerce and contact that come with it—are restored. Scarce resources and an isolated culture inform much of the work seen in the exhibition. The work shown here is fascinating at any time, but even more so set against current foreign affairs. Finally I wish to acknowledge the hard work and contributions of the Museum’s staff members, for all such projects are the result of a team effort. Preparators Jerl Richmond, Steve Johanowicz, and Kate Wanberg designed and installed a technically complex exhibition. Registrar Ann Sinfield negotiated loan agreements and arranged shipping and insurance. Editor Kirstin Pires worked closely with Prof. De Ferrari to prepare the catalogue for publication, and Jeff Weyer, communications assistant, expertly designed and produced the catalogue for the online format that allows access to this scholarship to anyone with an Internet connection. We are very grateful to Prof. De Ferrari, who conceived and curated the exhibition, for her excellent essay that helps readers and viewers understand and appreciate the context in which these photographs were made. Russell Panczenko Director, Chazen Museum of Art 3