Abel Barroso, born in 1971 in Pinar del Rio, Cuba, is internationally renowned for combining printmaking and sculpture in biting and humorous commentary on contemporary life in Cuba. Yet his concerns far exceed his native context, as he addresses issues arising between so called First and Third World countries, with a recent emphasis on migration and its social implications and costs.
Using meticulous craftsmanship, he creates playful works that often invite the viewer to interact. The Third World Internet Cafe, Barroso’s memorable installation at the 7th Havana Biennial in 2000, featured computers fashioned out of wood and paper and hand-cranked by the viewer. Pinball del emigrante (2012), a series of pinball machines hand fashioned out of wood, highlights the bureaucracy, unpredictability, elements of chance and absurdity that emigrants often face in their efforts to cross borders in search of a better life.
Medium: Handmade Spanish cedar “game” laser and handcut hardwood, screenprint and relief roll with 12 stainless steel balls under Plexiglas
Size: 13-1/4 x 19-1/4 x 1-3/4 inches
Price: On Request
Description: Embassy Game, an interactive tabletop game something like a mini pinball machine, is constructed of cedar, ink, metal balls and a clear acrylic cover. The player, seeking to obtain a visa at an unnamed embassy, must navigate the ball through a maze presenting a series of obstacles: payment, security, fingerprinting, etc. At the end, depending on the gamer’s skill but also on the chance of the ball falling into a favorable slot, the visa may or may not be “won.”
“Embassy Game - Verso”