Showroom | Cuba

Cuando El Recuerdo se Convierte En Polvo II

When The Memory Turns To Dust II

Building by destroying. From domestic space to social space.

The visual field of Geoffrey Batchen’s so-called domestic-vernacular-popular photography constitutes of everyday life and trivial situations that are generated both in private and public spaces. These have been considered within the official aesthetic frameworks a nequam product, meaning, without artistic and commercial value. They have no place within the historical narratives, not even in the contemporary, which continues to legitimize names, operations, and photographic trends of so-called “modern art.”

The domestic-vernacular-popular photography, especially in its first qualifier, has not been legitimized. Nor has it been valued as such by the researchers of the photographic universe.
Those researches accustomed to assuming an elitist, discreet, and unproblematic position; they put their work in tension with a praxis that proposes a dynamic of production unmarked by the established aesthetic limits.

Dust in the drawer or on the Smartphone. On the discursive and the aesthetic

The survival of photography as a tool for communication and questioning, whether in albums, drawers, reused shoe boxes, or in the internal memory of a Smartphone, makes it an element of memory in the domestic sphere. And it is precisely its functional, contextual, discursive, and aesthetic disorder that Cuban artist Ricardo Miguel Hernández seeks to do with his series of photocollages Cuando el recuerdo se convierte en polvo (2018-2020).

The significance of this domestic-vernacular-popular photography is not only anchored in the conservation and finding of a residual archive but also in the very aesthetic making and conceptual reconfiguration that the artist brings to it by offering a new dimension of existence of this material of memory.

Mutilate, compose, and intervene. From the accumulation of dust to the accumulation of memories

The exhibition shows how the appropriation of the dusty memories of families through domestic photography has earned Ricardo Miguel a praxis that uses the manipulation of the archive by mutilating, fragmenting, recomposing, and intervening on it. Which, when paired with another part of a different collection, becomes a new aesthetic statement, loaded with readings and conceptual derivations as diverse as the possible connections that the artist achieves during the work process.

From the language of photography, Ricardo Miguel becomes a scout, a judicious voyeur who searches in the disposable fragments of almost forgotten realities for possible fictional micro-relates built from that documentary, domestic, memory-dusting evidence.

Narratological Paradigms. From archival appropriation to aesthetic reconfiguration

The works that conform to these virtual samples are, resurrected wills of society (mainly the Cuban one) that gloats in nostalgia that accumulated dust in worn-out social narratological paradigms. They trace filial memory in the entelechy of an uncertain present and a blurred future.

These photo collages, in their performative, technical, and conceptual fabrication, become a polysemic metaphor of an ontology. One that starts from the domestic, to encompass the collectivity of social memory.

About the artist Ricardo Miguel Hernández

Ricardo Miguel Hernández studied at the Cátedra Arte de Conducta founded and directed by Tania Bruguera. He has exhibited in several solo exhibitions in countries like Italy and Cuba.

Among his group exhibitions includes the 3th edition International Collage Art. Retroavangarda Gallery. Warsaw; Relatos contemporáneos. PHotoEspaña 2020. Casa América; Social Subjetiva. PHotoEspaña 2019. Ateneo de Madrid; Identity, hibridism, diference. FestFoto Brazil 2019. Fundação Ibere Camargo in Porto Alegre; HOPE. ESMoA El Segundo Museum of Art in Los Angeles; Doble Play. Fotografía cubana. Foto Museo 4 Caminos in México City; Cuba. Tatuare la storia. PAC Padiglione D Arte Contemporanea in Milano and ZAC Zisa Arti Contemporanee in Palermo; Cuba en vivo. DOX Centre For Contemporary Art in Prague; Colimadores. Michael Horbach Stiftung in Colonia; and others group shows in America, Europe and Cuba.

He has participated in numerous art events such as KAOS 3th Festival of Contemporary Collage, The Others Artfair, MIA Artfair, SetUp Artfair, 6th Contemporary Cuban Art Salon and others.

Among the residencie and awards received, include: Arte no es fácil: Temporal Lapses and Artistic Traslation. Links Hall, Chicago´s Center for Independent Dance and Performance Arts; Special Mention SetUp, Italy; 21 Creation Study Scholarship “Discontinuous Room” Project, Visual Art Development Center (CDAV), Cuba; First Prize, IV Biennial of Photography in memoriam Alfredo Sarabia, Cuba; and prizes awarded in the II and IV International Festival of Video Art in Camagüey, Cuba.

About the curator Yenny Hernández Valdés

Yenny Hernández Valdés (Artemisa, Cuba, 1992). She lives and Works in Havana, Cuba.

She is an art researcher, critic, curator, and cultural manager. Holds a Bachelor and Master in Art History from the Faculty of Arts and Lyrics of the University of Havana. Member of the Asociacion Hermanos Saiz (AHS), in the Critical and Research Section; Member of Latin American Studies Association (LASA); and Member of the Union of the Historians of Cuba (UNHIC).

In 2016, she received an Honorable Mention from the International Association of Art Critics (AICA). In 2020, a curatorial residence prize was given for the exhibition Project Under the purposes of power, bay Terremoto La Postal, in Mexico, for its Exhibition Program 2020-2021, with three exhibitions in different regions of Latin America.  

She works in Palacio del Segundo Cabo: Centro para la Interpretación de las Relaciones Culturales Cuba-Europa (OHC). She is a profesor in the University of Havana, with a program of subjects on Cuban culture at the Foreign Languaje Faculty (FLEX).

Co-authored the books Experiencias culturales en el Palacio del Segundo Cabo: estrategias para la participación, la interpretación y la creación (Cultural experiences at the Palacio del Segundo Cabo: strategies for participation, interpretation and creation) (Boloña Publishing House, Cuba, 2018); and Yuniel Delgado Castillo: Selected Works (Ediciones Siranga, Spain, 2018). She also worked as a compiler of the book Coloquio Presencias Europas en Cuba. Memorias 2017-2018 (Colloquium of European presence in Cuba. Memories 2017-2018) (Boloña Publishing House, Cuba, 2018). She has contributed as a writer for several magazines like Arte Cubano, Kolaj Magazine, Noticias de Arte Cubano, CdeCuba, Magenta, Art Crónica, Negra; as well as on digital plataforms like El Sr. Corchea, Art on Cuba, La Jiribilla, Cuban art news, Circuito líquido, Portal AHS, among others.

She has taught conferences in national and international events on Cuban culture and visual arts. Among the exhibitions she curated, those that stand out are Cuando el recuerdo se convierte en polvo (2020); Hominium 3, within the framework of the XIII Biennal of Havana (2019); y Mío, tuyo, nuestro, in the framework of the November Photo Event (2016).

General Curator: Nelson González 
Production: Zurishaddai Tremus

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