Prophylactic life and collective amnesia

Hamlet Lavastida

/ 1 December, 2015

[…] Vida profiláctica (Prophylactic Life) is the title of the most recent solo exhibition by Hamlet Lavastida. Opened in the Dotfiftyone gallery in Wynwood Art District, Miami, the show is an exhaustive panning of the work of this creator between the years 2008 and 2015. Composed by three installations […], a vast silk screen installation […] and four video-animations […] the exhibition presupposes an immersive nature in a rhetoric of fascinating and yet bloodcurdling power.

Hamlet Lavastida (Havana, 1983) has been developing this research line since his years of study in the High Institute of Arts. His positioning, differently from that of former generations which had grown and been educated within the revolution, is located in that generation that the artist himself calls “post-Special Period” generation. His approach has, then, a more archeological than empathetic-existential meaning. We witness the reconstruction— not without some indifference—of a recent but extinct period in which Lavastida tries to unravel his symbolic and linguistic subtle maneuvers. Assumed from the perspective of the postcommunist era, these incisive works with a sociological nature inquire into an obsolete and fascinating aesthetics, idealized by many and entirely strange for others.

Vida Profiláctica (2014-2015), an installation composed by 21 designs inspired in logos, book covers and illustrations, answers the logic behind the representation of the prophylactic mandate implemented during post-revolutionary Cuba. The resulting designs, lacking the typographic component accompanying the original images and with subtle variations, generate at the same time sensations of identification and estrangement. From the formal point of view, the features inherited from the constructivist aesthetics that, taken on by the Soviet Revolution as a fundamental ideological weapon, have their epitome in the propaganda poster […]

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