In a series on Havana’s seawall, the open horizon presents what Manuel Piña calls a “trauma of space.” If the vastness of the ocean embodies the revolution’s utopian promise, it simultaneously confines Cuba’s inhabitants to the island—it is a threshold and a barricade. A hand playfully pulling a thread from the skyline shrinks waters that would otherwise appear infinite. Selections from this body of work were exhibited in the Havana Biennial of 1994, which was dedicated to the theme of migration.

En una serie sobre El Malecón habanero, el horizonte en abierto muestra lo que Piña denomina “el trauma del espacio”. Si la inmensidad del océano personifica la promesa utópica de revolución, simultáneamente confina a los habitantes de Cuba a una insularidad que es tanto umbral como barricada. Una mano que juguetonamente tira de un hilo desde la silueta urbana achica las aguas que, de otra manera, parecerían infinitas. Una selección de esta serie fue expuesta en la Bienal de La Habana de 1994, dedicada precisamente al asunto de las migraciones.


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Artist
Manuel Piña, Cuban, born 1958
Title
from the series Aguas baldias (Water Wastelands)
Date
1992
Medium
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions
Image: 8 15/16 × 13 in. (22.7 × 33 cm) Sheet: 10 15/16 × 13 7/8 in. (27.8 × 35.2 cm)
Credit Line

Museum purchase funded by Mary Porter

Current Location
Not on view
Accession Number
94.788
Classification
Photographs
Provenance

The artist; purchased by MFAH, 1994.