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Carl De Keyzer I Cuba La Lucha

Carl De Keyzer I Cuba La Lucha

ISBN: 9789401433228
Sizes: 21 x 30 cm
Pages: 176
Cover: harcover
Publisher: Lannoo / Roberto Polo Gallery | 2016

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Carl De Keyzer. Cuba, la lucha 18.03.2016 – 15.05.2016

The solo exhibition Carl De Keyzer | Cuba, la lucha at the Roberto Polo Gallery comprises a series of images created in 2015 of 60 archival pigment prints on fine art paper mounted on DiBond.
This series – simultaneously documentary and conceptual – explores Cuba's current transition from a Communist to a Capitalist regime, and its consequences on the population. On the occasion of the exhibition, Lannoo and Roberto Polo Gallery co-published this 176-page illustrated hardback book, written by Gabriela Salgado, the distinguished London-based Argentinian art historian, curator and author.

Carl de Keyzer's images, both powerful and carnal, capture the dignity and charisma of Cubans struggling to survive. Through views of crumbling buildings, we guess the splendour of a bygone and glorious era, as well as an ambitious population ready to open a new chapter in its history. Carl De Keyzer captures the ambivalence of a changing country, torn between the desire to preserve its traditions and the desire to improve its economy. The photographer seizes images of the end of a bankrupt Utopia, which has plunged its population into a deep identity conflict, divided by the lure of dazzling economic growth promised by Capitalism and fears of consumerist excesses on its traditional culture.

Carl De Keyzer foresaw the collapse of the Soviet regime in his series Homo Sovieticus, photographed between 1988 and September 1989, before the Berlin Wall was demolished in November 1989. Thus Carl De Keyzer is not only an observer of his time, but also a visionary of history. He captures brutal moments through those of intimacy, always through a prism tinted with poetry, often with irony and transcendental humour.

The series Cuba, la lucha was planned before American President Barack Obama's 2014 speech inviting the relaxation of the Communist island's fifty-six-year embargo. The speech was a welcome surprise to Carl De Keyzer, proving once again that he is a visionary of history. Ironically, President Obama will visit Cuba four days after the private view of the exhibition Cuba, la lucha. This will be the first visit of an American president to Cuba in eighty-eight years.