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Statement:
Collective exhibition. Fototeca of Cuba, Street Mercaderes Nr. 307, Old Square, Old Havana. February 16, 2018 (inauguration)
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Since the world is the world and man could see the benefits of bringing animals closer to his life, the close relationship between humans and animals has become commonplace. They are there, at our side, in our day to day offering us company, food and shelter, without even realizing that this coexistence often demands a sacrifice that reaches its greatest consequence (their own death). Sharing their presence and well-being as something soft that flows and that is lived in the greatest contemplation and tranquility, in the city itself or in the countryside, where nature still welcomes them and the space to share among them and with men (rational animals) is greater; each animal lives in harmony with itself, with others and among man.

Being the coexistence so covert and the day to day so arduous, sometimes we do not realize its good presence, the joy of the animal and its loyalty, its care and protection when it accompanies us; its being close without fear, feeling us as one more of the herd. Thus, photographing them is not difficult, sometimes it is done unwittingly and no less often than the photographer takes his camera, dazzled with his garbo or his energy, and goes out to portray them. No matter when or where, or in what circumstances, they always stay close to us. They serve us in so many ways that they provide us not only with their milk, their flesh or their skin, but also share their strength and grace, their dexterity and speed, their company and their help. Each species in its own way and with its own walk.

The importance of animals, in relation to human life, is reflected in mythology and continues in living traditions. Starting from the scope of its symbology, reigning from the first moments of human development, when animals were not yet totally separated from the human environment. That is why there are not few cultures that have highlighted their kinship and relate the behaviors and attitudes of some animal, with the behavior and personal characteristics of humans, highlighting their qualities as positive traits present in us, comparing some with the strength of the Ox, others with the loyalty of the Dog, or the vanity of the Rooster, the agility of the Rat and the constancy of the Tortoise, among many others.

However, man, the "superior animal", is not always capable of the same fraternal coexistence and respect for each other, nor of taking these good manners to high levels. He roars instead of speaking, he sweeps instead of giving in, he prefers to lose rather than share; that's why Baltasar Gracián wondered when he wrote El Criticón - "... what do men do so badly with, if not did nature give them weapons, as it did to wild animals?" Man should look at the rest of the animals and look at them for their reflection. He should learn from those who, although being put at risk, often by man himself, fraternally share his life as long as they live with him.

 

by: David Mateo

 

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Artists:

Alejandro Alfonso / Alfredo Sarabia / Arien Chang / Arnaldo Labrada / Constantino Arias / Daniel Chávez / Eddy Garaicoa / Eduardo Muñoz Ordoqui / Humberto Mayol / Joaquín Blez / José Alberto Figueroa / José Julián Martí / José Manuel Acosta / Juan Carlos Alom / Leonor Menes / Leysis Quesada / Mario Díaz / Moisés Hernández / Pedro Abascal / Pilar Rubí / Raúl Cañibaano / René Peña / Tito Álvarez