Exodus: Alternate Documents

Event information
Venue:Spanish Cultural Center, 1490 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami

Image: willy-castellanos.png

Centro Cultural Español de Miami (CCEMiami) presents

An Open and Interactive Community Art Project for the Recovery of Collective Memory
By Aluna Curatorial Collective
Artist: Willy Castellanos
Guest artists: Coco Fusco and Juan Si González

Exodus: Alternate Documents is a project of reflection on the phenomenon of emigration and large human displacements. The proposal of the Aluna Curatorial Collective (Adriana Herrera and Willy Castellanos) starts with the creation of a setting that displaces the limits of documentary photography and video, and transforms it into an open exercise for the recovery of collective memory, with the participation of Cuban immigrants in Miami, who were part of the 1994 balsero exodus. Between August and September of that year, thousands of Cubans embarked to the United States on precarious rafts built with their own means, in what became one of the most dramatic episodes in Cuban contemporary history.

Photographs, interactive installations, and video screens will compose this exhibit, which is a homage to all those who, in the most diverse latitudes of the world, embark each day on that uncertain path of emigration. A video room will be installed to film the testimonies of those interested in participating in the reconstruction of the event from their experiences. Public convocations will be made through diverse media inviting Miami residents to participate. The interviews, public lectures, and other material collected will serve for the production of a lengthier documentary and will remain treasured in the archives of several institutions in Miami.

The project takes as a starting point the presentation of firsthand historical material: a collection of 70 photographs taken by Willy Castellanos in Havana during the balsero exodus of 1994. Unlike other images published in the global media, Castellano's photographs register the construction, transportation, and departure of the rafts from Havana, and they could be presented as an exhibition per se. But the exhibition also displays installations and documentary videos as bridges to new contents not featured in the photos of 1994. Additionally, two important installations by prestigious Cuban-American guest artists Coco Fusco and Juan Si González will be presented.

Exodus: Alternate Documents is a joint effort between CCEMiami and Aluna Art Foundation, with the collaboration of the Cuban Museum Miami and its "Sweet Home" program with the Knight Foundation, the Cuban Heritage Collection at UM, the Cuban Research Institute at FIU, El Nuevo Herald, and some individuals in the city of Miami.

The exhibit will open on September 13 at 7:00 PM at the Centro Cultural Español de Miami.

Additional information can be found at Aluna Art Foundation.