Jack Shadbolt: Works from the Collection
Judy Radul: World Rehearsal Court - Online Catalogue

Subscribe to our mailing list
Site Search:


  1. ss6. las plantas medicinales.2.jpg

    Juan Carlos Alom, Las plantas medicinales florecen de nuevo, 2012.
    gelatin silver print, 48.7 x 47.7 cm.
    Courtesy of the artist.

The Spaces Between

Contemporary Art from Havana

January 10-April 13, 2014

OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, January 9, 8-10 pm

CURATORS' TOUR with Tonel and Keith Wallace: Saturday, January 11, 2 pm

CONVERSATIONS: Wednesdays, January 15, February 5 and March 5, noon-1 pm

CONCERT: Friday, March 14, 2 pm with UBC Contemporary Players


The Belkin Art Gallery is pleased to present The Spaces Between: Contemporary Art from Havana from January 10 to April 13, 2014. Conceived by Cuban artist and critic, Antonio Eligio (Tonel) and Associate Director/Curator of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Keith Wallace, this exhibition focuses on the social spaces and shared sensibilities of this dynamic city, as opposed to an attempt to survey an entire nation’s artistic output. The Spaces Between explores contemporary Havana from artistic, cultural, sociological, and anthropological perspectives within a new social and economic reality that has made itself evident in Cuba in recent years. While most works seem to convey a disinterest in the political, it does take form in the imagination of the viewer, an artistic strategy that emphasizes how important the spectator has become in the making of meaning in visual art. Hence the title of the exhibition—The Spaces Between—that is, the spaces between the artwork and its reception, between the said and the unsaid, and between the past and the future. This exhibition will provide an update on Utopian Territories: New Art From Cuba that showed at the Belkin and other Vancouver galleries in 1997, and will feature works by Juan Carlos Alom, Javier Castro, Sandra Ceballos Obaya, Celia-Yunior, Ricardo G. Elías, Luis Gárciga Romay, Luis Gómez Armenteros, Jesús Hdez-Güero, Ernesto Leal, Glenda León, Eduardo Ponjuán González, Grethell Rasúa, Lázaro Saavedra González and Jorge Wellesley.

The artists in the exhibition are cross-generational; some have international reputations while others are younger and not so well known abroad. Some of the artists are teachers of other artists in the exhibition, thus there exists a legacy that threads through the exhibition. While the validity of exhibitions based around national or civic parameters have come under critical scrutiny; Cuba, and in turn, Havana, present a different context. Cuba, due to its internal political agenda and lack of physical access to the outside world for most of its citizens, tends towards an introverted and a self-conscious sense of identity within a global context. The artists in The Spaces Between are exploring ways of articulating this phenomenon both through direct social engagement and through practices carried out in the privacy of one’s studio.

The Belkin Art Gallery is partnering with Black Dog Publishing to produce an accompanying catalogue that will visually document the artworks and contain essays and interviews elucidating and contextualizing the themes of the exhibition.

The Spaces Between is curated by Antonio Eligio (Tonel) and Keith Wallace and co-produced by the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, University of British Columbia, and Bildmuseet, Umeå University, with support from The Canada Council for the Arts. We gratefully acknowledge the support of our Belkin Curator’s Forum members.


The following comments have been entered at a kiosk available to visitors to the gallery. Only the 10 most recent comments are shown, see more on the comments page.

Cora Li-Leger from South Surrey at 12:27 pm Friday, April 11, 2014

Thank you Keith and Tonel for providing this glimpse of a world that reflects back to us.

Caroline from UK at 2:23 pm Saturday, April 5, 2014

Not sure about this as "art" - perhaps more English translations would have helped ? !

Henry Tsang at 1:30 pm Saturday, April 5, 2014

Thanks! Engaged works, engaging exhibition! Learned a lot.

Eli at 12:52 pm Saturday, April 5, 2014

Why is the person eating and licking the cactus?

J at 10:23 am Friday, April 4, 2014

Just...my life is over.

Ros from Vancouver at 4:09 pm Sunday, March 30, 2014

The saddest part of this exhibition for me was to learn that 70% of the arable land is not being used. What a shameful policy this is. Surely, this fertile space could be used to enhance the standard and quality life of all Cubans without causing a threat to the socialist philosophy of the government.

Fidel at 3:43 pm Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Cant believe this cost money....

Aida at 1:41 pm Wednesday, March 26, 2014

[ In reply to Jim Moriarty at 1:24 pm Thursday, March 20, 2014 ] Nah

Someone at 1:30 pm Wednesday, March 26, 2014

[ In reply to Someone at 3:41 pm Thursday, March 20, 2014 ] shut up

Joel Mara from Canada at 1:48 pm Sunday, March 23, 2014

I liked the piece about the artists studio. I felt like I had lived there or been there for a long time. The cinematography was intimate and contemplative.

For further information please contact: Jana Tyner at jana.tyner@ubc.ca,
tel: (604) 822-1389, or fax: (604) 822-6689