Juan Pablo Ballester

Galería Ray Gun

Spain, which during the Franco era forced its political dissidents into exile, has more recently become a land of asylum. This transformation has aroused conflicts, however, especially those generated by politicians who promote racism and xenophobia and place all kinds of obstacles in the way of any tolerance of unfamiliar cultures. Juan Pablo Ballester (born in 1966), a Cuban artist living in Barcelona, is very familiar with all of this. His work, expressed here principally through photography (sometimes he works in video as well), conveys the complex problematic of exile. And yet that is not really the central theme of his new series of ten Cibachromes, “En Ninguna Parte” (Nowhere), 1999–2000, even though its title denotes the transit through which the exile passes, as if he lived a type of limbo.

The main thread that runs through “Nowhere” is, rather, the palpable presence of some young

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