What is your need?

/ 3 June, 2015

Demasiado ruido no ensordece; demasiada luz nos ciega; demasiada distancia o demasiada proximidad impide la visión; demasiada longitud o demasiada brevedad oscurece el discurso; demasiada verdad nos asombra.

Blaise Pascal

Sometimes by expressing “our need” so much, certain positive or negative predisposition has been implemented. Entrapped within stereotypes because of the monothematic insistence, we have maybe lost the horizon of what we need, amid the chaotic and painful everyday praxis.

It is accepted, too easily, that such need is the one of greater emergency; although it is also true, the configuration of interest affecting the forms of daily life helps to place the discussion on other terms. The reason for this project is to stop in a repertoire of practices and attitudes, active in the present, in which collective desires (suppressed and repressed) and tension between the modes of production of material life and its impact on social psyche are articulated.

In Cuba, after 1990, and although the picture appears to be more encouraging, the irresolution and gray certainties about tomorrow persist. The continued need has not only led to creative solutions to subvert it, or to overcome the chaos, but has also made it possible to organize and transmit that experience. In this field, stabilizing and homeostatic, the corresponding structures of consciousness and stereotypes of activity in the succession of the generations that relieve each other have emerged. The forms are reflected in the psychosocial, cultural practices and behavior against the contingent. Doubts and expectations, individual ideas, collective hopes and the faltering irreconcilability between social pragmatism and utopia acquire concreteness and even, to some extent, nature of objects.

The creators are who take to art, from their daily routine, those tensions emerged from society. The exchange and negotiation of authors from their individual actions with conflicts of society today is the nerve that stimulates the realization of works that address issues in a visceral way, sometimes from the metaphor; others frontally.

Celia-Yunior focus on political redefinition of domestic and institutional spaces, while Nestor Siré focuses on the urban practice of placing posters for the sale or exchange of their homes, which has its impact on the aesthetics visuality of the city. The creator is not satisfied with this epidermis: he encourages home owners to comment on the reasons for leaving the place where they have lived most of their lives, where they will move to, what they are looking for with the change…

Aware of absurdity and the economic, cultural and social gaps that despite their impact on the character has failed to take us down, Plastic Guajiras and Adonis Ferro introduce a metaphorical protest space, of that feeling of suffocation and boredom, of fragilities and shortages.

Adrian Melis makes possible the desire of the workers: to end downtime and make a factory in unemployment to start functioning. Through the simulation, the author takes us to a utopian reality of production, in which the relations and material forces of production on which the country’s economic structure is based, and to which corresponds the awareness of doing to and for all, works in an intensive and coordinated manner. That slow pace of economic output, and a low development of the economy, is a manifestation of that culture of us of walking calmly and the increasing apathy.

The reality is often disguised to make it less painful and annoying, and as an escape from the stresses and disappointments that at certain times overwhelm us. Or those are usually the most uncomfortable truths. The activities considered banal and superfluous come to the rescue when the exhausted needs a repairing, slow and fantasy “dream” to regain momentum. In Cuba, holidays and gossip are an effective remedy to return you productive and happy to a hostile context. Ricardo Miguel Hernandez dived into that practice for months. During that time he spied often his neighbors through the small window of the door, detected their dynamics and witnessed their intimate lives, like if participating in a reality show. His remarks in that period of creative nullity became then a material for art, by being representative of a modus operandi of everyday life.

Other practices also seem to join us to social order, as the indifference that is clear in the work of Yonlay Cabrera. In the city there are holes that nobody knows what for they were made or if which their role is. But they are still there, under the collective and critical eye of society.

The proposal by Rigoberto Diaz and Martin Wöllenstein stimulates activation of a memory and the enunciation of future desires. People who have moved to homes after their houses have being declared in danger of collapse; they write their memories sweetened with melancholy of the past and aspirations in the present.

Ideas about social order also operate at the level of the connotations of the meanings that practices convey. The violence shown in the work of Sandra Perez connotes the deviation of dialogue, the establishment of a mark in human relations which scales the confrontation as a method to concoct fear and power, and also to release the anger and venom against what we do not control. For its part La culpa by Reinier Nande is a polysemic piece, from which it is possible to obtain at least two readings: the first is associated with the deliberate renunciation of the determination capacity; and a second involving standing by and biased in situations as a therapeutic method of putting conflicts away, an impartial attitude that favors the livelihoods of certain conditions.

So, it causes to stop and think: What is your need? The question gives its name to the collective exhibition that also features the participation of Lidzie Alviza, Orlando Montalvan, Jenny Brito, Donis Llago, Alicia Rodriguez, Orlando Galvez and Marcel Marquez. It will take place at Arsenal Studio,in Cardenas Street, No. 55, in Old Havana, on Sunday May 24 at 6:00 pm.

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MARCEL MARQUEZ

21 May, 2019

🙂

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