Sandra Ramos (1969, Havana), Lives and works in Havana and Miami
Alongside Belkis Ayón, Abel Barroso and Ibrahím Miranda, Sandra Ramos is one of the artists that led a
revolution, or what came to be known as a “vindication”, in engraving in Cuba in the 1990s. But Sandra
does not just focus on engravings; she also produces installations, videos, paintings, collages. She has
a characteristic preoccupation with issues of migration, and how these are linked to memory, loss, and
uprootedness. Her name cannot go unmentioned in any serious writing on exodus and flight, and has
become indelible from any conversation on issues of identity and of what Ramos has characterised as
“our cursed condition of being surrounded by water everywhere”: a condition intimately tied to deep
existential concerns (such as isolation and levity), if not death itself. Her art can thus be seen as a sort of
insular Apocalypse, without being parochial for it.
Ramos’s work is laced with poetry. Her pieces embody the schizophrenic logic upon which Cuba’s social
imaginary is built, a reservoir of hope and disenchantment, recovery and loss, happiness and sorrow,
acceptance and rejection.
MÉXICO / SAN FRANCISCO
EXPO CHICAGO 2016
SEPTEMBER 22 - 25, 2016
Navy Pier, Chicago, IL, EE. UU.
Consonant with this, her images have a quality of imprecision, of deterioration caused by mental
turmoil. Her work also captures what is there as desire and aspiration. Such material allows Ramos to
occupy a space that is blurred by uncertainty, if not drowned in that last instance. Her creations are
about constants in the limbic system that have disappeared, become estranged, fleeting and floating,
both in the remaining side and in the escape. («All that is solid vanishes in the air»). Such has been
Sandra’s persistent dilemma: seeking the uncertainty and promise embodied in utopia, or remaining
stuck in the hopelessness and «the dirty puddles» of that same utopia.
Over the past several years, Sandra has spent a considerable part of her time living in the United States.
As a deeply committed artist, she has also expanded and deepened her areas of reflection and
engagement. It is therefore not surprising that part of her work flourishes on her cultural, social and
political observations, as well as the visual codes of this and other countries, especially in their relation
Sandra’s works for Expo-Chicago are grounded on the Aristotelian axiom that man is a political animal.
The series she presents here are based in ideological differences and tensions. She resorts to the power
ball to talk about our voluntary insertion and subjection into frameworks of domination through
delight: the way in which politics are designed as a game, a captivating spectacle that provides us with
distraction. Portraits, videos, and objects (the face of a politician or an established public figure is drawn
on all of them), as well as an interactive ping pong table constitute Sandra’s offering for the galería nina
Public collections: Museo Nacional de Cuba, Havana; Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) NY; Art Museum
of Arizona State University (ASU), AR; Canvas Art World, Amsterdam; Casa de las Américas, Havana;
Fuchu Art Museum, Tokyo; Ludwig Forum für Kunst, Aachen: Museum of Latin American Art (MoLAA),
Long Beach, CA; National Royal Museum of Art, Ontario; Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary,