“For me, making art is a way of communication with all human being and with the future.
Through my work I try to express the significance of the world to which I belong. My work is a reflection about the specific reality of my country. Usually I use the self-portrait as ways to meditate about the fact of belonging to and island where the collective history and the personal destine are in very tight relation. Thus the fundamental motif of my work is the daily recovery of and individual and social memory tied to everyday overcoming of difficulties. Also my work is highly bound whit lost utopian feelings and frustration of the socialism-emancipating ideal, which are states of minds very characteristics of the actual society.
I try to use difference media for the plastic language, according to the variety of significance of each work. I have made a lot of engravings, where the principal character is a girl whose image are a mixture of a self-portrait and the image of Alice in Wonderland. This girl has the function of commenting the resent history of my country through popular stories pointed out by texts. In this series I also incorporate classical characters taken from the popular political Cuban caricatures, like Liborio and Abela´s Fool, that are symbols of Cuban people during the Neo-colonial period.
My recent engravings are part of a series whose theme is the consequence of the introduction of the dollar in Cuban recent economy. They show satiric commentaries about tourism, the greed for money, prostitution and the repetition of the historic cycles of dependence and colonisation.
I am working also with installations. In 1994 I made an installation titled Migrations II. It was composed by a series of 10 suitcases painted inside. They tried to make a compilation of the experiences, dreams, deceptions and illusions of Cuban people that emigrate from their country. They deal with the stories about “balseros”, peoples that escaped from Cuba using rafts, some of them are real others imaginary.
The open suitcase was a medium to make public the private and social reality of Cuban people. From this first experience I create others installations, boxes that looked like coffins s, treasures trunks containing dreams about trips, homesickness and death.
In another work I display three big suitcases that looked inside like the home of a girl and old man and a human couple, with all their personal belongings. They pretended to establish the relationship between the frustration of Cuban Utopia and the uselessness of sacrifice. They weigh so much that is impossible to move them. This is the representation of the immobility of our reality.
My recent works deal with the imaginary representation of and aquatic world. In them, I began to use new materials like aquariums, water, life fishes, snails, sand, etc. Its like another Island under the sea created after the “balseros” experience, and artificial New World defined by the impossibility of change human reality.
In a new series call “Immersions and Burials”, I also star to use the video, describing a marginated world of poverty and evasion. I take this images from the street and incorporate them in installations in which the philosophic speculation climes into the origin of men and humanity. To the primary water described by Tales de Mileto and the Heraclito´s River which always flows. The water is seen as a natural element determining the destiny of my country, a storm of water, which give us life and death.” – Sandra Ramos
Maria Theresa Barbist and Elysa D. Batista are both locally based South Florida artists that collaborate as the BABA COLLECTIVE. They originally met at the Bakehouse Art Complex in Wynwood, FL during their individual artist residencies in 2016.
The idea of the BABA COLLECTIVE was born when in discussion of the diversity of artists that were found at the BAC, and other institutions in Miami, they realized the lack of archives providing the ability to access interviews of these individuals. Thus RCS: ROCKING CHAIRS SESSIONS was created. A publicly accessible forum where one could find individual recordings describing the professions, media, and life of South Florida based creatives.
Launching their collaborative endeavor in 2017, the BABA COLLECTIVE seeks to amass a window into the lives and process of SoFla based professionals in the arts.