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Cuba: reconstructing memories by José Betancourt

at Tinney Contemporary, Nashville TN

Jul 31 - Aug 29
Cuba: reconstructing memories by José Betancourt

In June of 1971 José Betancourt’s life changed forever, literally in a matter of minutes. With his suitcase and a toy plane, Betancourt traveled with his parents from Havana, Cuba to Miami, Florida. The flight was part of the Freedom Flights that carried over 250,000 Cubans to a new life in the United States between 1965 to 1973. Everything was left behind except what Betancourt and his family could carry. As a five-year-old he had no idea what this meant.

For this exhibition, Betancourt chose to assemble a group of photographs that are initiated by memory. Part of his method was to write down what he remembered and apply the photographic technique that best communicated his unclear image. The pictures are usually missing something or manipulated to a surreal state. Sometimes they seem as simple as the artist’s memories.

The techniques used to create these images would also have roots in the history of photography. Betancourt decided to work with a number of processes from digital to 19th century light sensitive emulsions. The Cyanotype, also known as the blueprint, has been one of his preferred techniques when attempting to take the viewer into an unknown place. The Cyanotype and Argentotype (a relative of his Van Dyke Brown printing) were developed in the 1840s by English scientist, Sir John Herschel. For this exhibit, Betancourt used large digital negatives for the historical techniques, 8×10 silver negatives for traditional darkroom prints, and scanned objects and actual contacted-printed objects to assemble these photographs. The variety of techniques is what makes this journey more exciting for Betancourt to reconstruct.


Free Admission


    Official Website


Additional time info:

Collectors Art Night: Friday, July 31, 5:30pm-8:00pm

Opening Reception: Saturday, August 1, 6:00pm to 9:00pm, during the First Saturday Art Crawl.


* Event durations (if noted) are approximate. Please check with the presenting organization or venue to confirm start times and duration.


Tinney Contemporary

237 5th Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37219
(Neighborhood: Downtown)

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