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    VISUAL ARTS

    El Muro: Photographs by Eduardo Hernández Santos

    Presented by at Smith College Museum of Art

    September 2-November 20, 2011

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    El Muro: Photographs by Eduardo Hernández Santos

    On view for the first time in the United States, “El Muro” is a series of ten photographic triptychs by Cuban artist Eduardo Hernández Santos (born 1966). In 2005 Santos discovered that a block of the Malecón, the five-mile sea wall extending from Old to Central Havana, had been claimed as a place where gay and transgendered Cubans congregated on a nightly basis. He photographed at El Muro (the wall) over the next...

    On view for the first time in the United States, “El Muro” is a series of ten photographic triptychs by Cuban artist Eduardo Hernández Santos (born 1966). In 2005 Santos discovered that a block of the Malecón, the five-mile sea wall extending from Old to Central Havana, had been claimed as a place where gay and transgendered Cubans congregated on a nightly basis. He photographed at El Muro (the wall) over the next year, engaging in discussions with his subjects, many of whom had no other public social outlet to express this aspect of their identities.

    Each triptych includes two images of the wall itself flanking a portrait of people at El Muro. On each left-hand image, the artist has spelled out fragments from the “La isla en peso (The Island Burden)” a poem written in 1943 by Virgilio Piñera, a gay Cuban writer (1912-1979). In passionate, poignant and scathing language, the poem charts what Piñera saw as the often repressive, violent, and insular nature of Cuban culture.

    SCMA is the first museum to acquire “El Muro” for its permanent collection. The work was purchased with the Dorius/Spofford Fund, established by Smith College in 2002 to support programs dealing with issues of citizenship, censorship, creativity, and contemporary political and social repression associated with sexual identity and expression.

    Image Credit: Eduardo Hernández Santos. Cuban, born 1966. "El Muro (The Wall)," 2005 (printed 2008) [detail] Gelatin silver prints with applied lettraset. Purchased with funds from the Dorius-Spofford Fund for the Study of Civil Liberties and Freedom of Expression. ©2011 Eduardo Hernández Santos.


    Smith College Museum of Art

    Elm Street at Bedford Terrace
    Northampton, MA 01063

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    Admission Info:

    $5 Adults
    $4 Seniors (65+)
    $3 Students (13+ with ID)
    $2 Youth (6–12)

    FREE: Members of the Museum; Smith College students, faculty, and staff; Five College faculty; any college student with ID; and children five and under. Immediate families of Smith faculty and staff are also admitted free. Free passes may be checked out at Forbes Library (20 West Street, next to Smith campus), at Lilly Library (19 Meadow Street, Florence, MA), or at a library with reciprocal borrowing privileges. Free to all on the second Friday of the month, 4–8 PM.


    General Day and Time Info:

    Tuesday-Saturday 10 AM–4 PM; Sundays 12–4 PM; Second Fridays 10 AM–8 PM; Closed Mondays and major holidays.


    Phone: 413.585.2760


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