SUSAN S. BANK |
CUBA: PIERCING THE DARKNESS
July 12 – September 9, 2018
Cuba: Piercing the Darkness by Susan S. Bank is a selection of an impressive lyrical photographic monograph of both the city and countryside of the mythical island of Cuba. Shot during the first decade of 21st century, working against obstacles from Cuba and the US, with her Leica camera, Bank documented raw and timeless moments, creating a poetic portrait of daily life of Cuban campesinos and Havana city dwellers. The work on view is a selection from her award winning publications Cuba: Campo Adentro and Piercing the Darkness. Bank lived and worked over a six-year period with ten families in the countryside of Cuba and continued to visit Havana for about a decade. The variety of human relationships and emotions extends beyond the island of Cuba and challenges the viewer to explore the universal enigma of the human condition.
“Rising before dawn, walking alone along the dark caminito, stepping over untethered oxen, waiting for that magical hour, the first flutter of light over the mountains.. Wanting to believe in the possibility of daily life of the campesinos of barrio Cuajaní .” Susan S. Bank
Susan S. Bank is based in Philadelphia, PA and Portsmouth, NH and was educated at Barnard College and the University of Edinburgh. Bank decided to become a photographer at the ‘perfect point’ of age 60, and for the first decade of the 21st century, she worked on the elusive, mythical island of Cuba, producing two bodies of work. “Cuba: Campo Adentro”, is an intimate portrait of daily life of tobacco farmers and their families in Pinar del Rio province. The work was first shown at The Fototeca in Havana Cuba in 2004. The Best Photography Books of the Year” by PHotoEspaña 2009 and ‘Best Books of the Year 2009” Photo-eye Books. In addition to exhibitions in several venues in Cuba, a selection from “Piercing the Darkness” was included in “100 Years of the History of Photography of the City of Havana”, curated by Nelson Ramírez de Arellano, at the 9th Havana Biennale 2006. Bank continues to work with her Leica M6 on long-term projects close to home.
“I wait in shifty shadows for the invisible, where the real slips seamlessly into the surreal, where the mask of a smile is always for sale, and Cubans have nothing to give but their soul in a cup of coffee.” – Susan S. Bank.