Sadiel Mederos
October 12, 2020
Jordan Issell
October 12, 2020

Ailen Maleta

(Havana, 1984)
I have a bachelor’s degree in Informational Design obtained in 2007 from the Higher Institute of Design (ISDi) in Havana. I worked as a designer forfive years and a faculty for two years. I studied photography and started a new professional career as a portrait, product, advertising and architectural photographer and a visual artista since 2013. I have participated in several national and international events, including the Biennial of Photography Alfredo Sarabia in Memoriam, the International Video Art Festival of Camagüey and the 14 Young Exhibition of the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry where I also judged of the posters presented. Recently, I participated in the Viewing portfolios of the Fest Foto Poa of Brazil. My first solo show was in 2015 at Fábrica de Arte Cubano with “En la Carpintería” and my second solo show titled “Ánima” isplanned to take place in February 2021 at the Fototeca de Cuba. My work has been exhibited in galleries in Cuba, the United States and Italy. And they are in private collections in the United States and in Italy at the Mediterraneum Collection.

"The highest vocation of photography is to explain man to man."
(Susan Sontag)

project description



Each image represents a moment in the life of a woman within her home. The woman trapped in the circle of being a girl, a woman, a mother and then an old woman (a girl again) or the I (woman) alienated and SHE that escapes. They speak of loneliness, overwhelm, oppression and the inner Self that wants to escape. But also of pleasure, of inner strength.
NOTE: It is likely to be the summary of a stage of life that included the development of a new relationship, the creation of a personal business, a second motherhood, changes of house, closing of that business, abortion, the beginning the end of that relationship and the beginning of a pandemic. It was the record of moods during those years, where everything that could cause joy was not enough in the face of so much change and instability.

Cradle, 2018 © Ailen Maleta
Dánae, 2019 © Ailen Maleta
Moorings, 2020 © Ailen Maleta
Refuge, 2019 © Ailen Maleta
Soul, 2019 © Ailen Maleta
Step, 2018 © Ailen Maleta
The Hours, 2020 © Ailen Maleta
Uncertainty, 2020 © Ailen Maleta
Waters, 2020 © Ailen Maleta
Leakage, 2020 © Ailen Maleta
Free, 2020 © Ailen Maleta
project presentation

This is the concept

"Hello, my name is Ailen Maleta San Juan. I am a Cuban photographer and visual artist. I live in Havana, Cuba. My work is self-referential at all times, either through my body or with the use of other elements that reflect these experiences. I am interested in talking about life as a process, about pain, loneliness, relationships, spirituality. The body as a container for everything and the emotions that may be involved. My participation in the International Photo Project is with a series that I developed from 2018 to 2020 titled Ánima. Each image represents a moment in the life of a woman (me) inside my own home. The woman trapped in the circle of being a girl, a woman, a mother and then an old woman, and I mean the latter because the first image represents an idea that almost everyone associates with my experience as a mother, although at that moment what I wanted to express were the memories of my bedridden grandmother, experiences that came to me a lot. Somehow there is a crisis of all thoughts when referring to death, especially of a loved one. This is what Ánima is about, events lived during those two years. Loneliness despite being accompanied. The stress that this can cause. Airtight feeling. And from that inner “me” that needs to escape from such a situation. But it has a second stage where the pandemic already arrives. So some images tell us about waiting, about uncertainty. And others where personally, I begin to adapt in some way, revealing in them pleasure or the search for pleasure, or pleasure as a way to provoke and attract the attention of the spectator or the people around me. This is my proposal. I hope you like it."