"Uprooted/Transmigrations" at Pan American Art Projects through July 31

Pan American Art Projects' latest offering isn't your typical summer group show. The Wynwood space is delivering a museum-quality exhibit featuring top-drawer talent courtesy of Abelardo Mena, curator of international art for Havana's Museo de Bellas Artes. Mena has organized "Uprooted/Transmigrations" to showcase a handsome collection of Pan American's holdings alongside works created specifically for the exhibit. The deftly curated show deals with themes of forced migration and includes works by artists from the United States, Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, and Argentina. On view are sculptures, paintings, installations, collages of varying sizes, and even interactive pieces. Mena has included some of Cuba's biggest names in the lineup, and their works are among the most compelling on display. Works by Kcho and Ernesto Javier Fernández Zalacain deal with the history of Cubans risking their lives crossing the Florida Straits to find freedom in the United States. Archipelago, one of Kcho's sculptures reflecting the permanent flow of refugees seeking jobs and prosperity, includes tiny rusted tin shacks germinating like a Depression-era hobo jungle from a truck tire inner tube. Fernández Zalacain's Dead End is a photographic light box that depicts a young rafter, precariously perched on a craft cobbled from lashed oil drums and tires, undertaking a stormy sea crossing. At the bottom of the picture, a red neon sign reads, "Dead End." Fernández Zalacain seems to be commenting on Cuba's tortured history with the ocean — the watery threshold from which first colonialism and later revolution washed upon the island's shores — and the vessel used by his compatriots to flee their homeland.


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