"Once upon a time there was a little prince who lived on a planet that was scarcely any bigger than himself, and who had need of a sheep..."
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“Before they grow so big, the Baobabs start by being little.”
—Le Petit Prince
The exhibition Baobabs is not thematic, but a curator’s choice with the intention of breaking free from all boundaries and political discourse, in order to inspire—both individually and as a collective—dialogue and reflection. Cuban artists Raul Cañibano, René Peña, Alejandro González, Arien Chang, Liudmila & Nelson, along with Mexican visual artist Alinka Echeverría and American photographer Susan Bank, individually share personal projects that each address a universal theme: identity, sexuality, health, religion and daily life.
A baobab is an African tree found in the remote deserts of Africa, Madagascar, and Australia. It is a tree that looks as if it is growing upside-down, with crooked branches, furry fruits and gnarled roots sitting on top of aenormous, smooth trunk. These solitary “upside down trees” have learned to adapt and survive in a dry and hostile environment. Many scientists have said that the capacity to endure this environment is one that the rest of the planet may very well envy with time as the earth heats up.
In the book Le Petite Prince, a baobab tree is cited as a tree that may "split" a small planet into pieces. The Little Prince had a real desire to destroy all the baobabs in fear that they would completely take over his planet. Without coming to any conclusion, I thought this was an interesting juxtaposition to the characteristics of the tree. The meaning of the tree will vary and redefine itself according to the perspective of the observer. Thereare no conclusions—although this exhibition takes you to Cuba, in essence, in its themes, there is areal universal reflection on awareness, tolerance, respect, acceptance, and most importantly, dialogue.