Saturday, March 20, 2010

‘CERVEZA TROPICAL: Caught in a Cuban Timewarp’

Click on image for a larger view.

An exhibition by Julian Tennant as part of the FotoFreo Fringe Festival

Julian Tennant is a photographer and artist based in Perth, Western Australia. His work has been shown in numerous exhibitions within Australia as well as in Europe and South East Asia. J

Julian is a member of the professional photographers association, the Australian Commercial + Media Photographers (ACMP) and is represented in Thailand/South East Asia by the Pikture Gallery in Bangkok, Thailand. When not engaged in his professional practice, Julian works as a contract lecturer within the Photography and Media departments at Central TAFE.

In 1958, Graham Greene published his classic comedy, "Our Man in Havana", which told the story of Mr Wormwald, a vacuum cleaner salesman in a city of powercuts and intrigue. Half a century later and the US imposed embargo has left Cuba caught in a physical timewarp where things look much as they did in Wormwald's day.

Using Greene's novel as his guidebook Julian travelled through Cuba, drinking beer (Tropical Cerveza is Cuba's oldest beer, first brewed in 1891), playing dominoes under crumbling facades with Cubans who could speak no English nor him Spanish, as vintage gas guzzlers chugged past and impossibly gorgeous women shimmied through salsa tunes coming from inside. And along the way Julian took pictures… photographs that show a Cuba of the early 21st century, but a physical space that could easily be mistaken for the world of Mr Wormwald and Batista's henchman, Captain Segura.

"Cerveza Tropical: Caught in a Cuban Timewarp" is part of a larger photographic body of work that follows in the footsteps of the protagonists of classic literary works. A limited edition "Cerveza Tropical" Artist’s book will be released to coincide with the exhibition.

Exhibition runs from 2nd April to 18th April in the Cracked Gallery.

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