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Cartagena Memories at the Parthenon

Romancing the Remembrance

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It would be unfortunate if your only recollection of Cartagena happened to be the 1984 Robert Zemeckis romp Romancing the Stone. Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas certainly cut a dashing silhouette through the thick jungles, donkey-tread winding roads and rural villages, but the flick was actually filmed in Mexico. Same goes for the “Smugglers Blues” episode of Miami Vice, the Cartagena drug-running plot of which fictionally went down in South Beach. We poorly traveled North Americans looking for a reliable cultural reference might do well to return to our copies of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera, the cobblestone streets, breezy terraces and whitewashed walls of which seem more aligned with the real Cartagena — or at least the same one seen by Nashville painter Jorge Yances for his series Cartagena Memories. Like Garcia Marquez, Yances spent his childhood there, and his oil-on-canvas trek through the city of his youth reveals an imaginative eye. Also like Garcia Marquez, Yances brings elements of magical realism to his recollection of an idyllic waterfront or an aging local with a careworn face. The images are dreamily potent on first glance, but it’s the longer look that conjures the haze of nostalgia we so often recast our remembrances in.
Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: March 5. Continues through June 26, 2010

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