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Passage, Cuban art in Vancouver

If you look through the window of the Access Gallery, you see a vast dark sea. You will find yourself…

By Ursula Diaz , in Cultura Vancouver: Latin living , on March 18, 2010 Tags: , , , , ,

If you look through the window of the Access Gallery, you see a vast dark sea. You will find yourself swimming alone in the middle of the night.  Similar to the experience that many people shared as they escaped from Cuba.  They are called Balseros people who leave Cuba on fragile rafts risking their life in the middle of the ocean.

Passage

is an installation created by Cuban artist Osvaldo Yero. The window of the gallery is painted black on the inside. From the outside, you can see a slash of paint that works as a peephole.

If you get really close to the slot, you can  see a flash light that flows across the darkened room. The beams of light reveal what it seems to be a school of fish but actually is a cluster of knife blades.  The light disappears after a few seconds and there you are again, in the middle of the darkness of the ocean.

The installation plays with the light in the gallery. You can only see it from the outside. Passage creates the feel of solitude from the street.

Yero evokes the journey of  Cubans, but also of all the immigrants that arrive to a new country. In just a couple of seconds, he represents the dangers and problems that immigrants need to overcome in order to start a new life. He knows what he is talking about, in 1997 he immigrated to Canada. His family is still in Cuba where he often visits.

Access Gallery is located on 206 Carrall Street. The installation is presented as part of Bright Light, a temporary public art project that includes 14 galleries in Vancouver´s Downtown Eastside. Most of the works are free and will be open to the public until March 21. You can visit the gallery or take a tour which includes visit to almost all the Bright Light works offered by The Miss Guides , an urban walking group.

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