I look for the appearances of DAILY LIFE AND its most intense tones
Nestor Siré has shown from the beginning a fascination for the social environment, by its limits, by the way it talks to his art and enriches it. With a work nourished by the nearest reality, the 12th Biennial of Havana invites him to become part of its payroll.
I find in your art a constant concern for social dynamics, by what happens dayly. How do you develop this fascination?
As Gabriel García Márquez said, “reality always exceeds fiction” and with that premise, which rather than understanding it is already part of my work process, I take the manifestation of that very fact, as it reveals its behavior and social implications, always linked with my own experiences. The accident, defined as the unexpected, is the means and instrument which reorders the process of my proposal. My need to act on its status, transforming or modifying it, through metaphor and textual games arises from the accident and impression caused by an image or a given fact. In that sense, I look for the appearances of everyday life and its most intense tones; I exhibit those elusive areas that mark the density of reality, identity and memory.
I have intended to discover -in the sense of eliminating what is already covered- behaviors and procedures that operate in the context, sometimes visible, others hidden after simulacra, and the hectic pace through which everyday life is assumed.
For example: Autocratismo (2010), Reconstrucción de ideología (2010), Indoctrinación (2010) and Pinos Nuevos (2011) are signs of apprehension-reproduction of codes that guide behavior, after assimilating certain values as correct. Lineamientos (2010), Condecoración (2011) and La Presión de las Cosas (2012) allude to daily survival and the regular changes that have been established in pursuit of developing the country’s economy.
Tell me about this piece you will be presenting at the Biennial, What are its goals and how it meets the rules of this twelfth edition?
Really the topic of this Biennale is very in tune, to my delight, with the kind of work I do.
Combo de Videos is closely related to Reconstrucción de ideología. It maintains the same registration procedures, investigative process and social relationship, but is separated from the ideological premises and thematic structures of its predecessor. Thanks to the experience gained in Reconstrucción de Ideología I realized that in the context of Camagüey and Havana, which are on which I move, there are phenomena that although have their genesis in the 1980s, have a strong presence in today’s life. There are also some that evolved with the times to the point of seeming new and others that have emerged in the heat of the circumstances. However, they all have one thing in common: they are initiatives that are creative or self-invented adaptations. These practices revolve around survival and are opposed to the centralizing state power.
By approaching them, I use the concept of popular culture, trying to articulate an understanding of everyday life and social events that are part of the aesthetic and ethical references of the moment. The popular worldview is performed through the influence of the ideological systems that articulate reality in which art participates. As emphasized in cultural studies, ours is a “culture of recycling.” In fact, its originality lies more in improvise with whatever is at hand than in inventing new things. Martin-Barbero argues that “the chaos and improvisation skills” are the secrets of community creativity which basically consists of revitalizing “the old with the new.”
The action is based on incorporating ¨combos¨ in the weekly package, in the sections: Premieres of Combos!!! Interesting and Varied!!! Guide for all in Cuba and Be notified!!! The work includes groups of videos on four general topics that will meet under the name of Combos, a designation handled in our context to name the concentration of audiovisual materials in a monolithic block of information, with a full order of sense.
The topics of the Combos will be:
Children games: It addresses the games that were born in contemporary society, increasingly tending to the pragmatic nature of its operation. In our context the ways of entertainment and child collecting precariously operate in public and private spaces.
The Key: It is about those solutions of creative nature that emerge in the institutional and household space, and intend to respond to problems of everyday life, often generated by the scarcity of resources.
New alternatives: economic activities arising under the self-employment, which aims to produce income.
Usefulness of Art: It points to the presence of residual filtration elements of art in everyday field to meet needs of it, fulfilling a function that does not prescribe its artistic status.
In addition to the Weekly Package, the work uses other means for its dissemination, through collaboration with the self-employed sector that sells CDs with audiovisual and musical content in digital formats. At about five private institutions that will offer free DVDs with the work will be identified in the municipalities of Habana Vieja, Centro Habana and Plaza de la Revolución. A postcard will show the names of the places and their addresses on a map of the city. This will be as a sort of credential required for the DVD, with a corner that can be cut, as the exchange receipt. In turn, this postcard will also have the phone number of a messenger with which those interested can contact for receiving the work Combos de Video or the Weekly Package in digital format and at home.
The action not only uses the Weekly Package as a platform of circulation and visibility, as it was used in Enlace Compartido<!–[if !supportFootnotes]–> <!–[endif]–>. The intention is to work with a channel that has become, so far this century, the most important phenomenon of communication and cultural consumption in Cuba . From there I establish collaborations with its managers: ODISEA Studios is in charge of graphic design and in editing the menu of combos; ETRES Advertising Agency promotes every week the new combos of the work included in the package; and VENUS Digital Magazine assumes the design of the postcard and catalog, following the editorial profile that characterizes it.
Thus in the course of the Biennale, Combos de Video will remain active and growing, on a weekly basis.
Photography: Courtesy of Nestor Siré