“We cannot afford to see life directly without any means or mediums; life is too big, too radiant, too chaotic, so we all need some way to observe life,” said Cuban American photographer Abelardo Morell, who will visit Loomis Chaffee and present a slide lecture on February 5. The lecture begins at 7 p.m. after a brief reception starting at 6:15 p.m. in the Gilchrist Auditorium located in the Clark Center for Science and Mathematics.
Mr. Morell spent most of his life living in exile from Cuba for 40 years. Upon his eventual return, he battled with his decision, which his family met with intense anger and fear, causing him to wrestle with his sense of identity, familial allegiance, and cultural politics. His work in the years of exile and after his return to Cuba aims to transform the familiar into something surprising, blurring lines of reality and fiction. His work revolves around the idea of taking a closer look at everything in life, realizing that the ordinary is not so ordinary, by using different perspectives that not only confuse, but also jar our expectations. Oftentimes, he takes everyday objects and events, such as water pouring from a jar, books, maps, or American money, and manipulates them through the camera lens in a practice called camera obscura, creating something ominous and dramatic. His work forces us to think twice about things to which we may never have paid much attention. Mr. Morell continues to teach, publish, and exhibit his works.