— GE­N­E­SIS 1:3-4

Art On Cuba - - Instances Of The Limit -

In­ter­ested in what is ex­is­ten­tial, tran­scen­den­tal, es­sen­tial… the work by Al­fredo Sara­bia (Jr.), (Havana, 1986) stands out in the Cuban vis­ual arts con­text by, from pho­tog­ra­phy, deal­ing with the meet­ing point be­tween the bi­nary op­po­sites, pro­posed by LéviS­trauss struc­tural­ist an­thro­pol­ogy.

Pho­tog­ra­phy has flowed in his work in an or­ganic way. First, it comes by the genes, those in­her­ited from his fa­ther, Al­fredo Sara­bia Domínguez (Havana, 1951 – Mérida, 1992), who made him tran­scend in an al­ready iconic im­age in Cuban pho­tog­ra­phy: at the malecón, he hardly was two years old. How­ever, Sara­bia (Jr.) stud­ied Paint­ing in the San Ale­jan­dro Fine Arts Academy. At the time, pho­tog­ra­phy was for him a tool to doc­u­ment or com­plete his work. Later he stud­ied in the In­sti­tuto Su­pe­rior de Arte (ISA), and then the medium be­came the fi­nal re­sult. He was a stu­dent, among oth­ers, of Gon­zalo González Borges (Gonzo), Félix Aren­cibia and Juan Car­los Alom. Cur­rently his work is con­sid­ered among the most pe­cu­liar within the pho­tog­ra­phy made in the is­land.

But what is more co­her­ent is pre­cisely that, fol­low­ing his con­cep­tual in­stinct, this artis­tic ex­pres­sion which mimet­i­cally cap­tures the en­vi­ron­ment and doc­u­ments it with tes­ti­mo­nial na­ture, with its com­po­nents of ve­rac­ity and re­li­a­bil­ity, was for Sara­bia the suit­able op­er­a­tion to ex­hibit those frag­ments of real­ity which pre­fig­ure a line, whether phys­i­cal or metaphor­i­cal, be­tween what is triv­ial and ex­tra­or­di­nary, be­tween what is real and supra-ter­rain.

From the semi­otic point of view, this limit is very ev­i­dent in the fram­ing and, from the se­man­tic point of view, his images en­tail a con­cep­tual depth sup­ported in the study of the dif­fer­ent cog­ni­tive cat­e­gories as­so­ci­ated to ex­is­tence. That is why his work fre­quently resorts to bi­b­li­cal quotes, above all be­cause of the tran­scen­den­tal char­ac­ter they pro­vide for hu­man ex­is­tence.

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