RAW POETRY: ERNESTO BAZAN AND CUBA
On view September 29, 2023-January 21, 2024
OAS AMA | Art Museum of the Americas
201 18th Street NW
Washington, DC 20006
Thursday, September 28, 2023
The OAS AMA | Art Museum of the Americas, with the support of the Permanent Mission of the United States to the OAS, announces Raw Poetry: Ernesto Bazan and Cuba. Born and raised in Palermo, on the Italian island of Sicily, photographer Ernesto Bazan arrived in Cuba in 1992. He remained there for fourteen years, until being forced to leave in 2006. From this period on the island, Bazan produced three photographic books: Bazan Cuba, Al Campo, and Isla. In 2016, Bazan unexpectedly returned to Cuba in the wake of the death of Fidel Castro. From his 2016 visits, he produced his fourth book, 25 de Noviembre. This exhibition highlights works included in 25 de Noviembre and features photographs from throughout Bazan’s time in Cuba.
For Bazan, the photographic exploration inspired by Cuba and its people sustained marriage and parenthood and survived exile and return. His photographs of Cuba examine the complicated love and longing that he has felt for the island. They represent a rare, extended vision of a unique place and its people, among whom Bazan lived, loved, and worked.
Ernesto Bazan and Cuba was initially conceived as part of AMA’s virtual programming, presented on AMA’s social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube) from April 29-May 16, 2021. Now, for the first time, the exhibition will be presented in person at the museum.
Ernesto Bazan was born in Palermo in 1959. He received his first camera when he was 14 years old and began photographing daily life in his native city and in the rural areas of Sicily. At the age of 19, he went to New York to study photography at the School of Visual Arts, from where he graduated in 1982. Bazan has published numerous books, including The Perpetual Past, Passing Through, The First Twenty Years, Island, Molo Nord, and Before You Grow Up. In 2008, his publishing house BazanPhotos published BazanCuba, which was awarded Best Book of the Year at the New York Photo Festival. Al Campo, an in-depth exploration in color of life in the Cuban countryside, followed in 2011. Isla, the third Cuba book, appeared in 2014. Finally, 25 de Noviembre concluded the Cuba series in 2020.
Bazan Bazan has held exhibitions in Europe, Latin America, and the United States. His photographs have been collected by collectors and museums including: MoMA, New York; SFMOMA, San Francisco; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, Durham, NC; the Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach; Fondazione Italiana per la Fotografia, Turin; the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; and Musée Réattu, Arles.
He has won prestigious photographic awards, among them The W. Eugene Smith Grant; the Mother Jones International Fund for Documentary Photography Grant; the Dorothea Lang—Paul Taylor Prize from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, Durham, NC; the World Press Photo Contest; and fellowships from the Alicia Patterson Foundation and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
Sarah Gordon is a Museum Specialist at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. She has curated exhibitions of photography and contemporary art at American University Museum, the National Gallery of Art, and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities; consulted on public and private collections in the US and abroad; and taught art history and museum studies at Smith College, American University, and George Washington University. Gordon’s book, Indecent Exposures: Eadweard Muybridge’s Animal Locomotion Nudes, was published by Yale Press in 2015. She has also recently published on New Deal murals in federal buildings. She received her PhD in art history from Northwestern University.
Accessibility: This exhibition takes place on AMA’s first floor. The galleries are wheelchair accessible by the ramp leading into the back of the museum. Restrooms are located on the second floor. There is a flight of winding stairs leading to the museum's second floor. For more information on accessibility, please contact 202 370 0147 or [email protected]