Individual works

Individual works

The survey is an insult

Media: Multimedia

Materials/Technique: Multimedia, laptop, base.

Dimensions: Variables.

Date: 2010.

Edition amount: 3

This work is the result of an opinion poll taken at the Central Park in Old Havana, which goal was to obtain specific data of people’s preferences about the selection of some words consider vulgar or foul in the Cuban context. 

This piece takes as a starting point, language modifications and people’s reactions in front of awkward situations that threaten what is consider “morally correct”.

The information obtained trough the poll was statistically processed in order to create data charts representing the most popular word both for men and women, for example. In addition to that, photo documentation and other details were compiled in the multimedia.   

Media: Multimedia

Materials/Technique: Multimedia, laptop, base.

Dimensions: Variables.

Date: 2010.

Edition amount: 3

This work is the result of an opinion poll taken at the Central Park in Old Havana, which goal was to obtain specific data of people’s preferences about the selection of some words consider vulgar or foul in the Cuban context. 

This piece takes as a starting point, language modifications and people’s reactions in front of awkward situations that threaten what is consider “morally correct”.

The information obtained trough the poll was statistically processed in order to create data charts representing the most popular word both for men and women, for example. In addition to that, photo documentation and other details were compiled in the multimedia.   

ÁN E Á UE T AM A

Media: Installation.

Materials/Technique: Tiles, wood, transparent acrylic, Rubik´s cube.

Dimensions: Variables.

Date: 2014

“ AN E A UE T AM A ” is an installation designed for an exhibition shown in the ruins of the Ballet Faculty (known as Circus Ruins) at the Arts University in Havana. The piece was supposed to integrate with the architecture, because of the similitude of the construction materials used to build it. It consisted of a podium or pedestal made of long thin bricks, on which there was an empty acrylic cube, like an exhibitor. Inside the exhibitor there was a broken up Rubik´s cube. In some of the cube´s little squares, the public could find loose black letters that established a correspondence with the artwork title letters. Only the interested and participatory spectator could decipher the apparently meaningless text, on Rubik´s cube, always from a certain distance, because he was not allowed to touch the object. This is a work which depends on the spectator´s presence or distance: its attitude. The interest around this art work revolves around related questions: how much time do we really devote to connect with artworks? How much disposition do we have to change reality from active participation?

Media: Installation.

Materials/Technique: Tiles, wood, transparent acrylic, Rubik´s cube.

Dimensions: Variables.

Date: 2014

“ AN E A UE T AM A ” is an installation designed for an exhibition shown in the ruins of the Ballet Faculty (known as Circus Ruins) at the Arts University in Havana. The piece was supposed to integrate with the architecture, because of the similitude of the construction materials used to build it. It consisted of a podium or pedestal made of long thin bricks, on which there was an empty acrylic cube, like an exhibitor. Inside the exhibitor there was a broken up Rubik´s cube. In some of the cube´s little squares, the public could find loose black letters that established a correspondence with the artwork title letters. Only the interested and participatory spectator could decipher the apparently meaningless text, on Rubik´s cube, always from a certain distance, because he was not allowed to touch the object. This is a work which depends on the spectator´s presence or distance: its attitude. The interest around this art work revolves around related questions: how much time do we really devote to connect with artworks? How much disposition do we have to change reality from active participation?

Decrescendo

Media: Installation.

Materials/Technique: Doce manteles deshilados, con textos bordados a mano, impresión sobre cobre, mesa y repisas de madera.

Dimensions: Variables.

Date: 2016

“Decrescendo” is a piece about the participation dynamics in contemporary Cuban society regarding matters of civic-political kind and about how consistent and active are, mainly the new generations, in expressing their ideals.

The work examines a specific event in Cuba’s history: when twelve women sang in 1868, for the first time in public, the La Bayamesa anthem, an anthem that had been prohibited and later became Cuba’s national anthem. The piece establishes a comparison between past and present. Twelve Cuban women sharing the same names and last names, but living in present Cuba were contacted after a research done throughout the island, and interviewed on their aspirations, concerns, and political perceptions. Some excerpts of these interviews were embroidered on table cloths using craft traditional processes.

Media: Installation.

Materials/Technique: Doce manteles deshilados, con textos bordados a mano, impresión sobre cobre, mesa y repisas de madera.

Dimensions: Variables.

Date: 2016

“Decrescendo” is a piece about the participation dynamics in contemporary Cuban society regarding matters of civic-political kind and about how consistent and active are, mainly the new generations, in expressing their ideals.

The work examines a specific event in Cuba’s history: when twelve women sang in 1868, for the first time in public, the La Bayamesa anthem, an anthem that had been prohibited and later became Cuba’s national anthem. The piece establishes a comparison between past and present. Twelve Cuban women sharing the same names and last names, but living in present Cuba were contacted after a research done throughout the island, and interviewed on their aspirations, concerns, and political perceptions. Some excerpts of these interviews were embroidered on table cloths using craft traditional processes.

Manifest on Carelessness

Media: Installation.

Materials/Technique: Printings on transparent self-adhesive vinyl, wooden rocking chair, book.

Dimensions: Variables.

Date: 2016.

The work was conceived from three intertwined dimensions, clung to a subjective historical interpretation: the thought (fostered by the book and its author), its concretion (armed action, depicted by specific images of bullet holes found at the Moncada Garrison, as a result of the armed struggle during the 50’s), and lastly, the contemplation (the simulated mark, the rest state that can be generated by the rocking chair, the book as a support of an extinct thought).
I am interested in thinking about the role of the subject in the political thinking and doing during moments of tension and crisis in Cuba.

Media: Installation.

Materials/Technique: Printings on transparent self-adhesive vinyl, wooden rocking chair, book.

Dimensions: Variables.

Date: 2016.

The work was conceived from three intertwined dimensions, clung to a subjective historical interpretation: the thought (fostered by the book and its author), its concretion (armed action, depicted by specific images of bullet holes found at the Moncada Garrison, as a result of the armed struggle during the 50’s), and lastly, the contemplation (the simulated mark, the rest state that can be generated by the rocking chair, the book as a support of an extinct thought).
I am interested in thinking about the role of the subject in the political thinking and doing during moments of tension and crisis in Cuba.

Exercise to train the indignation muscle

Media: Action-object.

Materials/Technique: Artificial grass, garbage picked up in three towns named Prosperity, steel wire, engraved aluminum tag, and resin.

Dimensions: Variables.

Date: 2016

The piece consisted in the picking up of garbage in three Cuban villages which names are Prosperity. I traveled to these locations in order to collect garbage from public places. The trash collected was mixed and pressed to conform three geometrical bodies, which format depends on the amount of trash picked up. 

These objects are covered with artificial grass, in a way that the spectator will never perceive their inner content, changing in this way a performative action into an object. From each cube, there hangs a metal tag showing the location each one represents. The information regarding the inner content of the cubes it is exclusively displayed in catalogues or in the data sheet, being these supplements the ones activating the meaning of the action and the objects.

Tag contents: Prosperity, La Habana; Prosperity, Cienfuegos; Prosperity, Santiago de Cuba.

Media: Action-object.

Materials/Technique: Artificial grass, garbage picked up in three towns named Prosperity, steel wire, engraved aluminum tag, and resin.

Dimensions: Variables.

Date: 2016

The piece consisted in the picking up of garbage in three Cuban villages which names are Prosperity. I travelled to these locations in order to collect garbage from public places. The trash collected was mixed and pressed to conform three geometrical bodies (cubes), which format depend on the amount of trash picked up. These objects are covered with artificial grass, in a way that the spectator will never perceive their inner content, changing in this way a performative action into an object, and establishing a contrast between the passive aspect of the image with the active aspect of the process. From each of the cubes, there hangs a kind of metal tag showing the location each one represents. The information regarding the inner content of the cubes only appears in the exhibition catalogue or in the footnotes, being these supplements the ones activating the meaning of the action and the objects.

I try to make a metaphor with the work with trash, to talk about appearances from power´s approach and from its social dimension, stemming from a re-signified action due to the locations selected. This idea came true following the emergence of a new political slogan in Cuba, which sought to strengthen Socialism as a prosperous and sustainable system.


Tag contents:
Prosperity, La Habana; Prosperity, Cienfuegos; Prosperity, Santiago de Cuba.

Expulsion from The Republic

Media: Installation-action.

Materials/Technique: Cork and wooden boards with information, laptop, website www.revolico.com, wooden table and bench.

Dimensions: Variables.

Date: 2014-2015.

The concern that origins this project is about the several ways to earn money that professional and non-professional people do to “make a living” in Cuban contemporary context. I attempt to make a reflection about artists´ insertion in the complex weaving of real relations of production, services and consumption.

In order to achieve this goal, I looked for real jobs for a period of approximately six months using the Employment section at www.revolico.com, a classified advertisement website. Through this site, I expressed my availability to perform different kinds of jobs, and offered the services that I was capable of doing outside of the art making. At the time I was performing the different jobs, I camouflaged my art project and my identity as an artist.

The resulting experience was shown in a gallery. There was a laptop placed on a desk showing the Employment section at that website, previously downloaded. In this way, the spectator could find not only the ads I had inserted but others uploaded by users of this website. The information hanged on the boards was related to the jobs for which I had been hired, including photographs, objects, data such as the money invested, the profits made, the inconvenience of working in those places, and so forth.

Media: Installation-action.

Materials/Technique: Cork and wooden boards with information, laptop, website www.revolico.com, wooden table and bench.

Dimensions: Variables.

Date: 2014-2015.

The concern that origins this project is about the several ways to earn money that professional and non-professional people do to “make a living” in Cuban contemporary context. I attempt to make a reflection about artists´ insertion in the complex weaving of real relations of production, services and consumption.

In order to achieve this goal, I looked for real jobs for a period of approximately six months using the Employment section at www.revolico.com, a classified advertisement website. Through this site, I expressed my availability to perform different kinds of jobs, and offered the services that I was capable of doing outside of the art making. At the time I was performing the different jobs, I camouflaged my art project and my identity as an artist.

The resulting experience was shown in a gallery. There was a laptop placed on a desk showing the Employment section at that website, previously downloaded. In this way, the spectator could find not only the ads I had inserted but others uploaded by users of this website. The information hanged on the boards was related to the jobs for which I had been hired, including photographs, objects, data such as the money invested, the profits made, the inconvenience of working in those places, and so forth.

Zoom

Media: Object-action/Photo documentation.

Materials/Technique: Digital printing on Epson paper.

Dimensions: 3 images of 50cm x 70cm each + text engraved in black acrylic of 21cm x 30cm.

Date: 2013

Edition amount: 5

This work is part of the Zoom Project, which emerged from the interaction between me and some people from different groups in their social contexts. The resulting experiences of this observation/relationship were turned into three multiple objects (Snowball Effect, Scattered Collection, and Epitome), which destiny was to be consumed in two different spaces: firstly as a whole at the gallery, and then, in the city as individual pieces worn by people. 

The results of the whole process is only a photo documentation of one object of each one of the three works. The insertion of the objects in specific social contexts and the use of them by people, has the intention to favor that they work actively not only in selected and legitimized art contexts.

Artworks from the project:
“Snowball effect”.
Object-action.
150 snowballs. Glass, ceramic, ethylene glycol, cork, wood, PVC.

“Scattered collection”
Object-action.
20 gold 9k bracelets, silver 925, black leather.

“Epitome”
Object-action.
Five book edition, handbound. Cardboard, bond paper, onion skin paper.

Media: Object-action/Photo documentation.

Materials/Technique: Digital printing on Epson paper.

Dimensions: 3 images of 50cm x 70cm each + text engraved in black acrylic of 21cm x 30cm.

Date: 2013

Edition amount: 5

This work is part of the Zoom Project, which emerged from the interaction between me and some people from different groups in their social contexts. The resulting experiences of this observation/relationship were turned into three multiple objects (Snowball Effect, Scattered Collection, and Epitome), which destiny was to be consumed in two different spaces: firstly as a whole at the gallery, and then, in the city as individual pieces worn by people. 

The results of the whole process is only a photo documentation of one object of each one of the three works. The insertion of the objects in specific social contexts and the use of them by people, has the intention to favor that they work actively not only in selected and legitimized art contexts.

Artworks from the project:
“Snowball effect”.
Object-action.
150 snowballs. Glass, ceramic, ethylene glycol, cork, wood, PVC.

“Scattered collection”
Object-action.
20 gold 9k bracelets, silver 925, black leather.

“Epitome”
Object-action.
Five book edition, handbound. Cardboard, bond paper, onion skin paper.

Saturn devouring his son

Media: Installation.

Materials/Technique: Intervened magazines covers, transparent acrylic. 

Dimensions: Variables.

Date: 2019

The piece is the result of an intervention on the covers of “Critical Thinking” magazine, published in Cuba from 1967 to 1971, year when it was censored by the government, under the allegation of being divergent. My action consisted of destroying the part of the magazine covers containing the title, and then reconstructing them using the traditional paper restoration process: cleaning, relining and paper grafting, and color restoration. The purpose of this somewhat illogical procedure is to talk about the way authoritarianism manages its own creations and what becomes uncomfortable for it at some point. The act of care and repair adds an extra layer of content that positions the subject in the conversation.

Media: Installation.

Materials/Technique: Intervened magazines covers, transparent acrylic. 

Dimensions: Variables.

Date: 2019

The piece is the result of an intervention on the covers of “Critical Thinking” magazine, published in Cuba from 1967 to 1971, year when it was censored by the government, under the allegation of being divergent. My action consisted of destroying the part of the magazine covers containing the title, and then reconstructing them using the traditional paper restoration process: cleaning, relining and paper grafting, and color restoration. The purpose of this somewhat illogical procedure is to talk about the way authoritarianism manages its own creations and what becomes uncomfortable for it at some point. The act of care and repair adds an extra layer of content that positions the subject in the conversation.

Untitled

Media: Workshop-installation.

Materials/Technique: Wooden table and shelf, fabrics and other materials to produce the flag, documenting pictures and sketches.

Dimensions: Variables.

Date: 2019

This work consisted on the production of a flag by a group of people. The call asked to design and create that kind of object, by working in a group collaborating process. The created flag should identify, symbolize and represent its own creators.

The interested people were asked to sign in as part of the working team, which composition, wasn´t limited by genre, age, nationality, etc. An initial meeting was set up, for participants to establish the project’s schedule and length, by themselves. To carry out the work, there were several materials available. However, it was possible for the collaborators to bring other materials depending on their interests. Cooperation among the group was requested in the call, so that the people participating were able to redefine the meaning of a flag, its use and its reason for being. In this way, so they could transgress conceptions about size, color, texture, symbology and so on. Besides, it was required to agree on the flag’s corresponding ritual (ceremony of hoisting, folding, incinerating…) The resulting object would eventually be shown in the gallery, according to the presentation determined by the working group. The final presentation would include leftover materials, documentary photographs and other elements used during the flag’s production.

The project’s goal was to foster a democratic space with real group collaboration in a context where there is a complete lack of it. The request for the object to be created connects with ideas of re-foundation, restart and representativeness.

Media: Workshop-installation.

Materials/Technique: Wooden table and shelf, fabrics and other materials to produce the flag, documenting pictures and sketches.

Dimensions: Variables.

Date: 2019

This work consisted on the production of a flag by a group of people. The call asked to design and create that kind of object, by working in a group collaborating process. The created flag should identify, symbolize and represent its own creators.

The interested people were asked to sign in as part of the working team, which composition, wasn´t limited by genre, age, nationality, etc. An initial meeting was set up, for participants to establish the project’s schedule and length, by themselves. To carry out the work, there were several materials available. However, it was possible for the collaborators to bring other materials depending on their interests. Cooperation among the group was requested in the call, so that the people participating were able to redefine the meaning of a flag, its use and its reason for being. In this way, so they could transgress conceptions about size, color, texture, symbology and so on. Besides, it was required to agree on the flag’s corresponding ritual (ceremony of hoisting, folding, incinerating…) The resulting object would eventually be shown in the gallery, according to the presentation determined by the working group. The final presentation would include leftover materials, documentary photographs and other elements used during the flag’s production.

The project’s goal was to foster a democratic space with real group collaboration in a context where there is a complete lack of it. The request for the object to be created connects with ideas of re-foundation, restart and representativeness.

Souvenir

Media: Installation.

Materials/Technique: 5 bags cross-stitch manually embroidered. 

Dimensions: Variables.

Date: 2019.

This work is composed of five hand-woven bags made by Chiapas´ indigenous artisans, which has been cross-stitch embroidered with images that represents socio-political and environmental conflicts present in the Mexican island of Holbox. These problems constitute dilemmas for the community, and function in a very underlying way, without affecting tourists visiting the island, who are provided with an ephemeral experience of happiness and well-being, that fallows policies not always adequately balanced.
I take the idea of a souvenir and what this concept means, to question the way we interact with a specific place, what we leave and what we take, carry or move –metaphorically speaking-, from places where we don’t establish a deep connection in terms of a more permanent living, everyday life, and experience.

Media: Installation.

Materials/Technique: 5 bags cross-stitch manually embroidered. 

Dimensions: Variables.

Date: 2019.

This work is composed of five hand-woven bags made by Chiapas´ indigenous artisans, which has been cross-stitch embroidered with images that represents socio-political and environmental conflicts present in the Mexican island of Holbox. These problems constitute dilemmas for the community, and function in a very underlying way, without affecting tourists visiting the island, who are provided with an ephemeral experience of happiness and well-being, that fallows policies not always adequately balanced.
I take the idea of a souvenir and what this concept means, to question the way we interact with a specific place, what we leave and what we take, carry or move –metaphorically speaking-, from places where we don’t establish a deep connection in terms of a more permanent living, everyday life, and experience.

Ceiling

Media: Photographic installation.

Materials/Technique: Digital print on cotton paper.

Dimensions: 50cm x 70cm each.

Date: 2017.

Edition amount: 5

With this work I propose a reflection on the legal situation that private art spaces and their agents face in Cuba. I underpin this assertion based on two contradictory facts: on the one hand, the absence of a legal framework which allows this kind of spaces and the people who work in them; on the other hand, the existing permissibility or indulgence from the art institution towards them. It is in this legal-illegal or tolerance-intolerance breach that this piece is based upon. 

The photographs register a graffiti saying THIS IS NOT A GALLERY, that I made at all the independent art spaces in Havana that allowed me to do it. I appropriate the typography of Magritte’s “The treachery of images” to argue about the real definition and functioning of these kind of places in Cuba.

Media: Photographic installation.

Materials/Technique: Digital print on cotton paper.

Dimensions: 50cm x 70cm each.

Date: 2017.

Edition amount: 5

With this work I propose a reflection on the legal situation that private art spaces and their agents face in Cuba. I underpin this assertion based on two contradictory facts: on the one hand, the absence of a legal framework which allows this kind of spaces and the people who work in them; on the other hand, the existing permissibility or indulgence from the art institution towards them. It is in this legal-illegal or tolerance-intolerance breach that this piece is based upon. 

The photographs register a graffiti saying THIS IS NOT A GALLERY, that I made at all the independent art spaces in Havana that allowed me to do it. I appropriate the typography of Magritte’s “The treachery of images” to argue about the real definition and functioning of these kind of places in Cuba.

Estiqui

Media: Multi-media.

Materials/Technique: Collages, drowing.

Dimensions: Variable.

Date: 2020

Estiqui is a series of collages that interpret contents found on car bumper stickers. The project was born out of an exchange of photographs between the artist Gabriel Sosa and myself, taken during our daily commutes in our respective cities. We documented these mobile messages in Boston and Havana, and from this starting point, I began to explore the unique characteristics of these texts and images on car bodies, and the persistent relevance of printed text in the virtual age.

I want to draw attention to the topics that the messages convey and the completely different way in which communication works with respect to what is permissible in different public spaces: we found messages of a political and activist nature in Boston and of a more individual, popular and playful content in Havana.

Media: Multi-media.

Materials/Technique: Collages, drowing.

Dimensions: Variable.

Date: 2020

Estiqui is a series of collages that interpret contents found on car bumper stickers. The project was born out of an exchange of photographs between the artist Gabriel Sosa and myself, taken during our daily commutes in our respective cities. We documented these mobile messages in Boston and Havana, and from this starting point, I began to explore the unique characteristics of these texts and images on car bodies, and the persistent relevance of printed text in the virtual age.

I want to draw attention to the topics that the messages convey and the completely different way in which communication works with respect to what is permissible in different public spaces: we found messages of a political and activist nature in Boston and of a more individual, popular and playful content in Havana.

11J or the Revolution that Never Happened

Media: Sound installation.

Materials/Technique: Work made up of 11 images engraved on vinyl-shape green acrylics. These images can be indistinctly played on a record player.

Dimensions: Variable

Date: 2021

Version: 1

This project considers some concerns I have about the use of censorship as a method of coercion and eradication of the exercise of freedom. I want to reflect not only on censorship as an abstract phenomenon but on its concrete expression in the material world.

I was inspired by the “Banned Records” in South Africa during Apartheid, when the government literally scratched vinyl records with the intention of damaging them and eliminating certain songs and musicians that were considered to be controversial in order to maintain the political status quo.

I anchor these insights in a series of popular uprisings that have taken place in Cuba, my country of origin, particularly the spontaneous protest occurring on July 11, 2021; when people went to the streets en masse to protest against the government for the first time since the beginning of the Revolution in 1959. 

My purpose is for the audience to interact with the work by indistinctly playing the images on the vinyl-shape acrylics.

Media: Sound installation.

Materials/Technique: Work made up of 11 images engraved on vinyl-shape green acrylics. These images can be indistinctly played on a record player.

Dimensions: Variable

Date: 2021

Version: 1

This project considers some concerns I have about the use of censorship as a method of coercion and eradication of the exercise of freedom. I want to reflect not only on censorship as an abstract phenomenon but on its concrete expression in the material world.

I was inspired by the “Banned Records” in South Africa during Apartheid, when the government literally scratched vinyl records with the intention of damaging them and eliminating certain songs and musicians that were considered to be controversial in order to maintain the political status quo.

I anchor these insights in a series of popular uprisings that have taken place in Cuba, my country of origin, particularly the spontaneous protest occurring on July 11, 2021; when people went to the streets en masse to protest against the government for the first time since the beginning of the Revolution in 1959. 

My purpose is for the audience to interact with the work by indistinctly playing the images on the vinyl-shape acrylics.

Complicity

Media: Object

Materials/Technique: Sandblasted glass, steel chain, cloth ribbon

Dimensions: Variable

Date: 2021

This object connects with concerns I have about political prison and the application of power in Cuba nowadays. I am interested in thinking about the relationship between the captive subject and the one that keeps him under this state, or between the victim and his aggressor, through the meanings arising from the materials used in the work.  

Media: Object

Materials/Technique: Sandblasted glass, steel chain, cloth ribbon

Dimensions: Variable

Date: 2021

This object connects with concerns I have about political prison and the application of power in Cuba nowadays. I am interested in thinking about the relationship between the captive subject and the one that keeps him under this state, or between the victim and his aggressor, through the meanings arising from the materials used in the work.