R-evolution

/ 29 June, 2015

From statism to the mutability of symbol
By these days the thermometer has soared art in Havana. The high levels reached describe a boiling scenario, due to the celebration of the 12th Biennial of Havana. Within the program of the event, the collateral exhibitions have achieved great attraction, especially the exhibition of contemporary Cuban art ¨Zona Franca, ¨located at Morro-Cabaña Historical Military Park. Within the more than a hundred projects and artists, I would highlight the work presented by Lidzie Alvisa entitled Revolution (2014); a piece that describes that facet of the artist, the one directed towards this type of conceptualism in which the written word is used as a vehicle to realize the work and where the artistic burden is shifted to the cognitive plane. Without completely avoiding her poetics, Alvisa uses the linguistic text with a self-reflective character to draw attention to its immanent meaning, in close relationship with the rest of the formal elements of the piece.
The artist uses the rubric menos es más (less is more) when she presents us this work in which, with a high level of synthesis, she works a complex concept in the Cuban context, but also globally. With a critical spirit she exploits the connotations or linguistic meanings the word revolution carries. Because Alvisa focuses on a REVOLUTION in capital letters, in recording it on a bracket -board-, which also becomes metonymy of an entire Cuban revolutionary project, where one of the pillars has been education. In this piece nothing is free. The blackboard gnawed by time and space becomes accumulation of knowledge; in this case it is reserved for a single and most important concept. The artist suspiciously dispenses in her installation with an eraser to delete the recorded content, or a chalk to facilitate overwriting. Because the Revolution is only one, it has been understood and thus pronounced from and by high levels as a single and unfinished project as Modernity. The board as support par excellence of countless knowledge is used to undermine the foundations of the educational institution. With it the artist gives checkmate to the rigidity of a project that for many years has worked with a unique concept of revolution, sown from the base in schools, promoted from the classrooms as an aesthetic pill.
Lidzie Alvisa deconstructs the way the Revolution has been presented from the spheres of power as an ideal project; she subverts with the very elements which have hitherto contributed to its validation –education, the written word-, the stagnated and ankylosed ways in which it has been based. Knowing that the schematic views tend to the accumulation and wear; Lidzie placed on the back of the installation the very word Revolution -in such a way as if the board was carrying on its back the great weight that the word implies- as receptacle of the dissimilar overwritings that were made on the same concept. This term, although barren and emptied of its original content, is continuously recycled to be relocated again in the green area of the board; or perhaps to, from the remains of an old project, set up a new one, already filtered and readjusted to the needs of contemporary Cuban society.
It’s clearly a work of great mythical-narrative power, in which the artist subverts the immutability in which the myth insists. It reveals how in this case her tireless repetition wears it and from that demystification she describes the Cuban cultural dynamics as a field of forces where there is a dominant form of production, legitimizing, and other residual forms of production that have tried to break the preset concept, in order to atomize the official speech and generate a horizontal plane of values to ensure the revalorization of the until then sub-values. Thus, Lidzie Alvisa bets on an art that starts from the complexities of context to dynamite reflections apparently asleep. Let us wake up then from statism and bet by the mutability of the symbol.

Julienne López Hernández

Julienne López Hernández

La Habana (1989). Licenciada en Historia del Arte por la Universidad de La Habana. Desde el 2012 trabaja como docente en el Departamento de Estudios Teóricos y Sociales de la Cultura de la Facultad de Artes y Letras de la Universidad de La Habana. Ha colaborado sobre temas de artes visuales cubano, latinoamericano y caribeño en publicaciones como Artecubano y el Boletín Noticias de Artecubano, y en sitios web y catálogos personales de artistas cubanos contemporáneos.

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