Cuba, Communism and Art
January 31, 2013
Work by two Cuban artists and one Pole—José Eduardo Yaque Llorente, Hamlet Lavastida and Jarosław Jeschke—is on display at the Miejsce Projektów Zachęty gallery in an exhibition entitled Fragmentos.
The contribution from Llorente is a new variation of his El suelo autoctono installation, rearranged especially to suit the Miejsce Projektów Zachęty basement rooms. Llorente found the gallery’s basement intriguing, because, he said, “it gives a new context to the work I previously showed in Cuba. Back then, the installation I made using books looked as if someone had dug the books out of the ground. That is because as a child, I liked digging around in the backyard of my house to find different things in the ground. But then I started doing the reverse, that is, find things first and then bury them. When I put things in the ground, I help the earth recover them. This is a very simple installation. I put soil in layers using existing soils which evolve through ground transformations, both natural and those caused by man. Books are one of the layers.”
Meanwhile, Lavastida’s work explores the social and ideological panorama of communism. Lavastida derives his projects from the writings of Marxist classics, speeches given by Fidel Castro, social programs and archival documents. His new project, put together for the Fragmentos exhibition, deals with government surveillance of writers and intellectuals in Cuba in the 1970s.
Jarosław Jeschke’s input to the exhibition comprises paintings and videos he made on visit to Cuba in June and July 2012, touring almost the entire island. Jeschke remembers how the trip stemmed from an urge to see, understand and experience communism and find out how artists lived in Cuba. “Cuba is a magical place, a fantasy land in some way,” Jeschke says.
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