New Weitz Center exhibit showcases contemporary Cuban photography and film

The new exhibit at Carleton College’s Perlman Teaching Museum is open now and runs through April 26, 2020.

Jan. 14, 2020

Contemporary Cuban photography and film are the focus of a new exhibit at Carleton College’s Perlman Teaching Museum. “Site Specific” is open now and runs through April 26, 2020.

“Site Specific” showcases more than 25 artists including the Madeleine P. Plonsker Collection of Contemporary Cuban Photography. The collection describes a unique place, as well as what Plonsker calls these artists' “restless energy, controlled by infinite patience.” Featured photographs highlight an evocative connection to a specific sense of Cuba in space and time.

Also featured in the exhibit is a series of three programs of short films titled, “Imperfect Cinema: Respond, Work, Play,” curated by Carl Elsaesser, visiting assistant professor of cinema and media studies. Taking its cue from the title of the canonical essay by filmmaker and scholar Julio García Espinosa, these short films uphold a politic of imperfection.

Suspending traditional modes of cinema, the filmmakers highlighted over the course of these three programs seek personal and political agency through alternative and direct practices with film. Starting with two foundational figures in Cuban nonfiction cinema, the series moves through a history of alternative filmmaking practices, from the directly political (“Respond”), to the indexical or observational (“Work”), to the playful (“Play”). While these films may vary in their tone and content, each upholds a sense of the radical possibilities of imperfection for an active cinema that demands the audience watch, watch again, listen and take part in.

The Perlman Teaching Museum will host a celebration and talk with Plonsker and visiting artists at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, followed by a reception from 8-9 p.m.

“Site Specific” is free and open to the public. The Perlman Teaching Museum is located at 320 Third Street East in Northfield. Museum hours and film schedules are available at

Perlman Teaching Museum Exhibitions are presented with generous support from Pamela Kiecker Royall ’80 and William A. Royall, Jr.