"Habana Libre": Here is a stunning contemporary exploration of the privileged class in a classless society: a secret life within Cuba. Michael Dweck's photographs are exhilarating, sensual and provocative, with a sexy and hypnotic visual rhythm. This is a face of Cuba never before photographed, never reported in Western media and never acknowledged openly within Cuba itself. It is a socially connected world of glamorous models and keenly observant artists, filmmakers, musicians and writers captured in an elaborate dance of survival and success. Havana is seen as the cultural center of the island, a mass of contrary images, raw and tender, barren and alive, musical and lyrical and fearful...sometimes all in an evening. Here too are surprising interviews with sons of Castro and Guevara as well as many others who define the creative culture of Cuba and give it texture and substance. "Habana Libre" is not a media-fabricated Cuban postcard of crumbling mansions or old American cars, but a revealing and contemporary work by an artist adept at capturing the quiet gesture, the sensuous eye and the proud and provocative pose of that most romantic of contradictions: Cuba.
Dweck's new book, Habana Libre, reveals a secretive collective of friends based in the country's capital, making work that treads a fine line between conceptual and subversive.--Editor"Nowness" (08/20/2011)