Texts

Diango Hernández: The New Man by Ajay Hothi for Port Magazine, London 2013

jay Hothi meets with the Cuban artist on the opening of his first UK solo exhibition in London exploring the effects of a Communist upbringing and forced ‘collective identity’. Marlborough Contemporary on Albemarle Street, just south of Mayfair, feels like the quintessential West End private gallery. Its engineered wooden floors and snow coloured walls seem to predate the almost-comprehensive influence that the Conceptual Art movement had in transforming the grand academy galleries into the bare white cubes that have been so prevalent since the 1960s. The effect adds to the layers of uncertainty that surround the work of Diango Hernández. A series of mid-sized pictures line the gallery walls, except these pictures, on first impression, are blank. Actually, they’re graphite sculptures. Similarly, a steel bunk-bed in the corner of the gallery is also made of graphite, and on the wide vitrine that is the gallery’s centrepiece are a few blueprints, technical drawings and a small architectural maquette made of cheese. In their own way, all of these works seem – initially – unapproachable, particularly the cheese, which gives off a slight smell. “The stories are the beginning of my work. Only through the reading of the stories can you know my work.” Between the ages of 12-18, Hernández was sent from his home in Sancti Spíritus to a boarding school in rural Cuba. The aim of this school (one of many in post-revolutionary Cuba) was to embed in its students the Communist ideology. While half the school worked in the tobacco fields, the other half studied. They traded places in the middle of the day, and this was the common routine, six days a week for six years. “The family was contaminated with the ‘old’ ideology. The aim of the school was to produce the new individual: the new man or the new woman. It was based on collectivity. There was no privacy. There were no locks anywhere, even in the bathrooms and showers. This is one of the common features of fascist regimes; a sense of being united in work and study.” Close inspection of the graphite sculptures reveals their painstakingly precise detail. Hernández has etched an outline line drawing into the surface of each canvas: dogs, birds, farmyard animals. The effect is comfortingly intimate, even though the line drawing might be impossible to see, even at arm’s length from the image. Truly attendant viewing is dependent on the break of light. The story of these images is frighteningly disturbing. “These are drawings of porcelain figurines. They were made in a small factory in Allach, near Munich. The story of Central European porcelain is all about clean lines and smoothness, about trying to create a surface of such perfection and beauty. But in every form of beauty there is pain and suffering. Every collector of porcelain, when he gets his hands on a piece, admires it and then turns it upside down to see the stamp of where it was made. These pieces were made in a Nazi concentration camp, by concentration camp slave labour.” “For me, drawing is the source. There are many levels of language in drawing and even at its most technical there’s synchronicity between the people who know how to ‘read’ drawings, even if you’re in China or if you’re in the USA.” This reminded me of one my favourite quotes by Hernández, which I then repeated back to him: ‘A drawing is a vision of the future.’ “Drawings are very simple to understand. I like to think we could use drawing as a way of saying we can start again.” “In my fantasies there is a way to rewrite history if we draw. The blueprints of something are its tools, but they get forgotten and instead we have photographs and documentation. But drawing can be a fiction too, and I struggle with that. I wanted to make the drawings invisible. Imagine each canvas here is the surface of a pencil that has been magnified hundreds of thousands of times. These are drawings in the material. It’s absurd to me; you don’t see the drawings, you just see the material.” These aren’t works that can be held to criticism in the conventional manner. To understand them, you have to understand the artist’s motives, reactive sensations and beliefs and personal history. The German artist Dieter Ruckhaberle made a poster in protest to Documenta 4 in which he wrote ‘What’s left to do for artists of a nation that wages a criminal war such as the one in Vietnam…other than to make Minimal Art?’ and, as many critics have written since, minimalist forms better serve the clear communication of ideas. Hernández’s protest is political, for the future, but it’s also a protest against history. “At a certain point, contemporary art has to remove itself from any kind of cultural reference. I am totally aware of what it means to be in this gallery, on this street, in this city. I’m aware that I’m serving certain values. Being an artist is seen as one of the most noble and enriching things that you can do, but at the end of the day you are creating capital.” So is this why you made pictures that can’t be seen, an installation that’s incredibly fragile and an architectural model that will biodegrade? “These are all challenges for the gallery. Art is the value of the ideas behind the object. Unfortunately the value is often due to the artist and these objects and their references. Look, the Royal Academy is very close, and there are works of great value there. And who do you have there? The Masters! If you are in this academy system learning from the Masters, then what does that make you? The slave!”   source: Port Magazine, London ...

Marlborough Contemporary to hold first British Diango Hernández Show by Rob Sharp for blouinartinfo.com

iango Hernández’s schooldays are a source of inspiration and of terror: a 2010 show in Germany examined the fatal stabbing of a fellow pupil at his boarding school earlier in his life, and was a jumping off point for an examination of the Cuban educational system. The same period is also partly the focus of his first solo show in Britain later this year (from September 18, 2013). The exhibition, at Marlborough Contemporary, comprises completely new sculptures and works on paper and examines the Cuban government’s system of mandatory rural boarding school for students in the last three years of high school – thankfully a practice currently being phased out. In these schools, students were inculcated with the prospect of becoming a “new man,” or “new woman”, citizens Che Guevara hoped would ultimately be “selfless and cooperative, obedient and hard working, gender-blind, incorruptible, non-materialistic, and anti-imperialist.” Hernández has used another Guevara quotation, one also given to students during their education, as a way to segue into the themes considered: “To build communism it is necessary, simultaneous with the new material foundations, to build the new man and woman… Revolutionaries will come who will sing the song of the new man and woman in the true voice of the people,” he said. The “new man” ideology had been widely used by various political systems before Cuba – and Hernández has examined this by using textured images in drawings referring to Allach, a low cost German porcelain factory of the 1930s that produced affordable porcelains through the use of concentration camp labor. “This exhibition has been more than a year in the making and it’s a big deal,” gallery director Andrew Renton told BLOUIN ARTINFO UK. “What I love about his work is that it’s never dogmatic or fist-thumping, it’s much more taking some personal moment from his own history where things intersect. It gives him a licence to reference the Cuban clichés of Castro or Che. “Because he’s been living in Germany for several years the work also becomes about someone who mediates his way around the world and finds things in common between one place and another that hadn’t been associated before. He’ll work through a series of things in one style, for example in a series of images on graphite boards that tell an entire story.” The artist will also expound upon a project by the Italian designer Achille Castiglioni, who as a student created an ‘H’ shaped design for a Fascist Cultural Centre using a maquette made of cheese as an implicit criticism of his then government. The similarities between this design and the structure of Cuba’s boarding schools will also be referred to by Hernández through the construction of a new maquette in the gallery. “He is also going to bring a bunk bed into the space which will resonate with his own history as to what it was like to be in those schools,” continued Renton. “None of this would work if he had a chip on his shoulder. He’s an upbeat optimistic guy. There’s a real pleasure in the gallery working with him and seeing him doing what he does. These works will become a history in themselves.”   “The New man and the new woman” September 18 – October 26, 2013 Marlborough Contemporary 6 Albemarle Street London W1S 4BY +44 (0)20 7629 5161 info@marlboroughcontemporary.com http://marlboroughcontemporary.com source: blouinartinfo.com ...

Exeunt By Diango Hernández for solo exhibition "If I send you this" at Alexander & Bonin, NY

“Exeunt” by Diango Hernández n 1967 my great-grandfather wrote in a letter to my grandmother: If I would find a way to escape this country -and most important- if I would find a place where we can live all your sisters and brothers together, would you like to come with us? In an earlier letter sent also to my grandmother in 1958, my great-grandfather wrote: …What all my life I thought it was my homeland, in the last years has become a strange place but is not necessarily making me feel like a stranger. I guess many people have done it already nevertheless I ask myself -what is that thing that artists are restlessly looking for? My answers to this question are all narrow-minded and fluctuate like the weather.. So one could say, I’ve never been satisfied with any of my answers about this particular matter. Lately the idea of ‘exiting the complexity of reality’ earned a bit of my consideration:  it might be the starting point of a good answer to the subject. What Gordon Matta-Clark did in 1975 with his Day’s End artwork wasn’t a cut on a building’s facade but instead the construction of the ‘exit’ I am referring to. For many people, Day’s End was just a hole that could take their eyes from the inside of a building to the outside and vice-versa. Some people talk about this particular Matta-Clark cut as ‘the cat eye shape’; after I have geometrically and metaphysically processed this particular shape I decided to call it: Exeunt. Exeunt is the paradigm, which proves that I am not far away from a good answer to my question. It’s also Exeunt as the highest expression that a shape could achieve in terms of geometry and in terms of ideology. If I am not wrong and I will get a good answer from the study of Exeunt, then my next question would be – if what artists are looking for is ‘the exit’, where is this exit leading us to? Of course I won’t dare to answer this second question before answering the first one but yet I would say hypothetically that Exeunt is definitely not leading us to a place. The American Consulate in Havana, (built in 1953 by the architects, Harrison and Abramovitz), is nowadays one of the most visited public buildings in Havana. Hundreds of Cubans seeking  an American visa queue every day in front of it; entire families, couples, singles, old and young people, blacks, whites and mulattoes all looking for the same: a ‘ticket’ to another place. A place that is not that far, only 90 miles between one piece of land and the other. What would normally take no longer than 45 minutes by plane, takes a lifetime to reach for most of the people in those queues.  I have myself queued in front of the same building, listening to the desperation of strange people and hallucinating because of their stories, longings and hopes. After hours of waiting it is my turn to get inside the American Consulate.  On my way to the entrance I counted three guards; I crossed through the big gate that separates Havana from the ‘American soil’ and to my disappointment, a guard tells me that I must turn left and sit under a tent which has been built outside the main building, especially set aside for those Cubans that have a visa appointment. It meant that I couldn’t enter the main building; I was so curious about its interiors and the smells I would find in the offices. The night before my appointment I found myself fantasizing about how Havana would look from one of the American Consulate windows. I know that is impossible to ask my great-grandfather if he found that idyllic place he was referring to in his letter: his answer would have contributed immensely to my studies. Nevertheless instead I decided to ask my grandmother since she joined him before he died. A month ago I called her; I dialed her number and after couple of rings there was her voice saying, “Hello, is America speaking”. It was only then I realized how stupid my question was. My great-grandfather named his beloved daughter ‘America’; at least now a very large area of my puzzle is almost completed. Even if ‘Day’s End’ has been ‘erased’ long ago by the hunger of some NYC urban planners, I swear I have seen here and there the same Exeunt, sometimes even on the American Consulate’s facade in Havana. Gallery press release An exhibition of new work by Diango Hernández titled, If I send you this, will open at Alexander and Bonin on Tuesday, September 6th. The artist has transformed the architecture of the first floor gallery to accommodate two site specific installations. In these installations the artist has re-imagined the geometric ‘cat eye’ of Gordon Matta-Clark’s 1975 “Days End” as an escape from a space of restriction to a space of freedom. In the main gallery, Hernández is re-removing these shapes, ‘exeunts’ as he has termed them, from the walls and repurposing them as the tables of an imagined agency of international transit and transition. Each table is fitted with a center-piece; a square Plexiglas container within which international stamps circulate endlessly. By juxtaposing the ‘exeunt’ and signs of international correspondence, the artist draws from his experience of the American Embassy in Cuba; a building unused for its intended purpose since January 1961. Visible from this bureaucratic space through a Plexiglas window is a reliquary; a floor covered in carefully looped magnetic tape loomed over by yet another ‘exeunt’, this time cut from a large sheet of paper and lit from above by a neon tube. The magnetic tape, mute without its accompanying audio device, reiterates the barrier between audience and content, past and present. The motifs embodied in the installations recur in collages, sculptures, letters, and paintings on view through the first and second floor of the gallery. Born in Cuba ...

The Foam Collector By Diango Hernández. Imaginary exhibition for the Havana Biennial

his is not the first time that I exhibit my work in Havana, but it has been a while since my last time. Since I came across the idea of exhibiting during the next Havana Biennial, I have been very confused. Presenting my thoughts to an audience that can’t see what I can and vice-versa, heavily upsets me. Havana can be the best venue for imaginary events; she is the capital of unfinished dreams and phantasmagoric hurricanes. But also Havana can be the worst place in the world if you pretend to build there something real, permanent or solid. Certainly there are plenty of meaningful places where I could present my work. In the last years I have been confronted with challenging situations of many kinds, with difficult spaces and very diverse audiences, but just the idea of exhibiting again in Havana, thrills me and moves me to a very difficult zone, straight into the zone where my emotions still live hidden. What to do? What idea should I develop for this very special occasion? That’s a very good question that artists are very often confronted with. This time the question got a bit more complicated for me. I know I want to be there but I also know that I want to be invisible while being there; I want to be seen as if I have never left the island, as if all these years that I have been away are just an instant, a flash. For a couple of years, on the 1st of January I take morning walks over the shores of the Rhine River. Early in those mornings you can see lots of interesting things lying around the proximities of the Oberkassel Bridge. In the meadows near by there are lots of empty fireworks artifacts and lots of empty champagne bottles. These are all the remnants of the New Year’s Eve celebrations. Throughout these walks I have collected many champagne metal caps that have been smashed by the overexcited crowd that gathers every year in these shadowy and freezing cold meadows. The caps are precarious pieces of metal, they are ‘blind’ sculptures modeled by masses of people and they are the central elements of my imaginary presentation in the next Havana Biennial. ‘The Foam Collector’ (El coleccionista de espuma) is my imaginary collector in Havana, he performs since many years the difficult task of collecting something that grows enormously and has the capacity of developing into infinite beautiful shapes. However he needs still to solve a very important issue for his collection: when all the bubbles disappear, what remains in his frames and vitrines is just water.   *Project in collaboration with Blood Mountain Foundation, Budapest ...

Diango Hernández at Nicolas Krupp by Quinn Latimer for Artforum, March 2012

But water, in all its forms―liquid flood, steamlike evaporation, crystal-like ice―was the point of Hernández’s show. See the suit of nine framed works on paper, Crsitales, 1936 (all works 2011), which opened the exhibition in one long, even row. The elegantly modern black-and-white prints of heavy and decorous Villeroy & Boch crystals goblets and glasses―arranged on tabletops like classically commercial rejoinders to Giorgio Morandi’s more abstracted assemblages of vases―were taken from a 1936 German catalogue. Besides the framing, Hernández’s touch could be located in the delicate pools of translucent watercolor that filled many of the glasses with lemon, sky blue, and rusty orange. Farther down the wall hung a set of larger, watercolor-on-linen paintings, from a series titled ‘Humid Memories,’ 2011-, the same bright colors illuminating their brown-linen grounds. Here the color assumed the form of cloudlike stains, hovering and blossoming from the canvases’ centers. It was as if a painting by Paul Klee and Marc Chagal had been distilled of both figure and form until just color―ever so subtle, without gesture―remained, gorgeously spectral yet oddly ...

Diango Hernández. Lonely Fingers by Annelie Pohlen for Kunstforum International, March 2012

ls Georg Elben 2011 die Leitung des Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten übernimmt, handelt er so wie nahezu alle neuen Direktoren in ihren Häusern. Er inspiziert die hauseigenen Güter und Leihgaben. Der im Museumsnamen ausgewiesene Schwerpunkt ist unübersehbar. Man begegnet ihm unweigerlich auf dem Weg durch die ausgedehnten Grünflächen im Außenraum. Einen überregionalen Rang hat sich das Institut indes vor allem mit dem unter Uwe Rüth vorangetriebenen Schwerpunkt Video- und Klangkunst erworben. Der seit 1984 alle zwei Jahren vergebene Marler Video-Kunst-Preis zählt zu den begehrten Auszeichnungen in der Medienkunstszene. All diesen Schwerpunkten zum Trotz: Marl liegt nicht auf der ständigen Route der Kunstinteressierten. Und so hat sich denn Elben, der auch seiner Kompetenz in Sachen Neue Medien wegen nach Marl gerufen wurde, sogleich daran gemacht, ein eigenes Konzept zu entwickeln, um die überraschend hochkarätige Sammlung zeitgenössischer Kunst aus ihrem inzwischen eher verschlafenen Zustand zu wecken und für die nähere Zukunft erst einmal “in Bewegung” zu setzen. Was diesen inzwischen in vielen Häusern praktizierten Versuch zur Revitalisierung in Marl nun auf gelungene Weise akzentuiert, ist dabei nicht einmal nur der von Etappe zu Etappe mit Leihgaben aus anderen Häusern erweiterte Dialog der Werke untereinander, sondern vor allem die Rhythmisierung der “Bewegung” durch eine Folge von Einzelausstellungen aus dem bisweilen erfrischend unkonventionellen Geist der Sammlung. Hoffnungsvolle Aussichten, das entschieden zur Gewöhnung tendierende Dauerhafte von Sammlungspräsentationen eben auch durch temporäre Setzungen herauszufordern. Gleich in der zweiten Runde bietet Diango Hernández mit “Lonely Fingers” einen Höhepunkt. Es ist eine höchst intime Installation, die er eigens für das Museum geschaffenen hat. Sie besetzt einen hell erleuchteten Raum im Untergeschoss, der aus dem weitgehend abgedunkelten Bereich zur Inszenierungen der in dieser Runde stark von Licht-, Medien- und Tonarbeiten geprägten Sammlungsrunde heraus fällt. Ob das in dieser Situation zunächst als nahezu gleißend erfahrene Licht eher lockt oder verschreckt, ist anfangs schwerlich auszumachen. Verblüffend allemal die nahezu asketische Raumbesetzung, die erst dann ihre ganze Opulenz offenbart, wenn die ‘lonly fingers’ in Aktion treten. Im ideellen Zentrum steht eine eigens eingezogene weiße Wand, auf der zunächst eine seltsame Konstellation von gebrochenen Backsteinen ins Auge fällt. Die paarweise angeordneten Bruchstücke verbinden unterschiedlich dicke Saiten. Kenner werden sie alsbald als Gitarrensaiten identifizieren. Tatsächlich handelt es sich um die für Gitarren geläufige Anzahl von sechs, welche die im gewöhnlichen Alltag untauglichen, weil gebrochenen Backsteinpaare auf der Wand der “Lonely Fingers” vier mal in vertikaler und zwei mal in horizontaler Richtung verbinden und so diesen ‘Klangkörper’ auf ebenso minimale wie subtile Weise rhythmisieren. Den Aktionsradius der ‘lonely fingers’ geben die Löcher in der Wand vor, je eines etwa auf halber Strecke neben den Saiten. Durch diese erschaffen sie von hinten gemeinsam eine je eigene Komposition – und agieren doch jeder für sich alleine in einer Situation zwischen komischem Theater und klandestiner Aktion. Die ‘Besitzer’ der Finger, deren Zahl und Dynamik das Werk von Fall zu Fall opulent, aggressiv, heiter oder verhalten, immer aber temporär, flüchtig und fern jeder vorgegebenen Regie gestalten, bleiben unsichtbar. Wenn niemand zupft, dann herrscht Schweigen an diesem Ort zwischen Dunkelheit und Licht, der eine polyvalente Energie zwischen poetischer Fülle und schmerzlicher Leere verstrahlt. Gesteigert wird diese durch die zehn Bronzefinger, die auf der gegenüberliegenden Wand fünf Glasplatten halten. Nichts stört die Glasplatten, nichts belastet die Finger. Zudem ist es zehn mal derselbe Zeigefinger mit gülden glänzender Fingerkuppe. Lediglich die minimal variierte Verankerung in der Wand verhilft all diesen erstarrten Zeugen menschlicher Handlungen zu einer vermeintlichen Individualität. Und tatsächlich im räumlichen Zentrum ein Stück aus der hauseigenen Sammlung: Es ist die Bronzehand von Paul Gauguin, die der Künstlernachfahre aus ihrem Dämmerzustand unter einer Glashaube auf einem Sockel ins strahlende Licht seiner ‘lonely fingers’ versetzt. Natürlich schweigt sie sich dort aus wie so viele Werke aus vergangenen Epochen, auch solche, denen Museen einen zentralen Platz einräumen. Es gibt in dieser Installation auch keinerlei Hinweis darauf, was es mit diesem ‘Fundstück’ auf sich hat. Es kommt so oder so auf Umwegen heraus. Zudem sind es ja nicht die Objekte – weder die aus dem Alltag noch die aus der Kunst –, die für sich alleine Bedeutung schaffen. Es sind die Hände, die vom Kopf, von den Sinnen und im besten Falle von der Imagination gesteuerten Werkzeuge des Menschen, die Objekte schaffen, gebrauchen, verbrauchen, wegwerfen, wieder auflesen, versetzen und im schönsten übertragenen Sinne begreifen oder auch zerstören. “Dies sei kunsthistorisch wohl die erste signierte eigene Hand aus Künstlerhand”, so der damalige Museumsleiter Rüth anlässlich des Erwerbs dieses seltenen Stücks. So wie sie Hernández, dem jede genialische Auffassung vom Künstlerdasein fremd ist, hier unter die ‘lonely fingers’ reiht, erweist sie sich als eines unter vielen Fundstücken, denen weder die Kunstgeschichte noch irgendein von außen verordneter Kanon einen Rang zuweist. Was hier zählt, ist ihre Präsenz im Konzert und in der Stille aller ‘lonely fingers’. Als Diango Hernández in den 90er Jahren des vergangenen Jahrhunderts mit Freunden von der Akademie in Havanna das „Gabinete Ordo Armoris“ gründet, erfindet er einen Ort, der eine in der alltäglichen Wirklichkeit aufgelesene Sammlung nützlicher Dinge vorführt als jenes kreative Potential, das aus sich selbst heraus „entscheidet Kunstwerk zu werden“. Damals zielte das Projekt auf die lähmende Wirklichkeit der verordneten Revolution. Diese frühe Vision vom Museum als Ort der Aufbewahrung und Labor individueller Gestaltungsformen wie kreativer Koproduktion hat den kubanischen Kontext verlassen, ohne ihn doch gänzlich als Teil seiner längst globalen Konzeption auszugrenzen. Sie findet eben auch in Marl einen nachgerade exemplarischen Einsatzort. Ist es doch gerade die ‘Vielsprachigkeit’ dieser speziellen Sammlung zwischen traditionellem Werkverständnis und avancierten Vorstellungen, die auf einen unkonventionellen Einsatz warten könnte. “Mit seinen Erfindungen setzt Hernández auf die Kraft des Künstlers, einen Dialog zwischen Welten zu schaffen, die dem Anschein nach nicht die Instrumente besitzen, um in Kontakt zueinander zu treten”, heißt es im Pressetext des Mart in Rovereto, das dem Künstler soeben seine umfassendste Einzelausstellung eingerichtet hat. Das käme der genialischen Imagination von “Ma main” – wie Gauguins Skulptur tatsächlich betitelt ist – verdächtig nahe. Nur so, wie hier alles still gestellt ist und ganz plötzlich auch wieder klingen kann, beweist diese intime Schau einmal mehr eine ...

Diango Hernández: Cómo educarse para vivir en el Capitalismo por Dermis Perez Leon para ArtNexus No. 83

ara mi el arte siempre existe en relación absoluta con temas autobiográficos. Esto no significa que entienda o lea la obra de arte como autobiografía o algún tipo de historia, pero si significa que cada artista, incluyéndome a mí mismo, es parte de lo que crea.1 La primera exposición personal de Diango Hernández (Sancti Spiritus, Cuba 1970) como artista individual fue Amateur en la galería Frehrking Wiesehofer en Colonia, Alemania, en el año 2003. Para ser el primer intento de lanzarse a competir fuera del conocido colectivo Gabinete Ordo Amoris, al que perteneció como integrante por diez años mientras permanecía vinculado a Cuba, el título escogido fue muy significativo. Hoy por hoy, este artista cubano se ha posicionado como una de las figuras significativas del arte contemporáneo que se produce en Europa. En aquella ocasión, escribí un texto donde intentaba encontrarle un sentido al despliegue de los 2000 diversos dibujos, estilísticamente hablando, y los frágiles objetos desplegados en la galería. El artículo finalizaba con una serie de preguntas que indirectamente ponían en duda el futuro de obras producidas en un contexto que iba a dejar de ser, al menos directamente, la condición de existencia de su producción. En verdad, me cuestionaba la posibilidad de que Diango siguiera creando un discurso desarraigado de su “escenario natural”, sin caer en el estereotipo de la “utopía” o la nostalgia, con la que se relaciona mucho del arte cubano contemporáneo, ya sea de los artistas que han emigrado, como los que viven entre la Isla y su residencia temporal en el exterior. Realmente, ¿Diango estaba preparado para competir en el “capitalismo”, sin abandonar completamente su origen formativo y educación “sentimental”? Con la distancia de casi nueve años entre el primer texto y este, puedo percatarme de la importancia que tuvo en su momento Amateur como el inicio de una obra que implicaba un proceso de reflexión e indagación personal. A partir de esa exhibición, Diango cambió su posición de representar la colectividad como metáfora -por ser parte de un grupo- donde el sujeto desaparecía, para ser un artista que nace y es definido y educado dentro de la experiencia misma de pertenecer a ese ideal colectivo. Y es justamente este proceso que define enteramente su obra hasta el momento. Junto al Gabinete Ordo Amoris, el foco estuvo en la recolección y re-contextualización de objetos “provisionales”, del contexto cotidiano al ámbito artístico para “elaborar un lenguaje portador de toda la mística y poética del entorno cubano.2 Como artista, Diango comenzó a construir y materializar un mundo paralelo, donde objetos re-tomados se desmarcaban de su funcionalidad original para entrar en el universo complejo de relaciones imaginarias personales. Amateur se convertiría entonces en un giro de posiciones, entre el pensar y pertenecer como colectivo, a desarrollar otra obra en el ambiente privado de su casa y luego, a crear en la soledad del estudio del artista. En su última entrevista con Patrizia Dander, Diango comenta: Decidí cambiar de escenario y empezar a crear un cuerpo de trabajo más íntimo y frágil.3 El dibujo sería clave en este proceso de pasar de coleccionar objetos provisionales con el grupo, a desarrollar ideas, emociones, y comentarios sobre la idea de ser artista. En mi texto en el 2003, había escrito sobre Amateur: (…) como su nombre lo indica, parte de una actitud humorista, juguetona, un comentario irónico de la misma condición del arte y el artista en este contexto. El arte, como la vida, comparte una suerte de precariedad temporal, donde lo efímero deviene gesto provisorio, inventiva para sobrevivir. Toda una estética cuya justificación es ese estado de necesidad que hace al arte participar de cierta actitud que yo llamaría de guerrilla emergente y provisional, en la cual no importa lo que se use: todo lo que esté a mano es válido.4 Quisiera detenerme en la idea de guerrilla emergente y provisional en ese primer momento en que Diango definía una obra; terminología inventada que me permitía desmarcarlo del Gabinete Ordo Amoris. Con el término quería implicar la construcción de un discurso sobre la fragilidad en el tiempo y el espacio, la emergencia en la que se va creando e interviniendo, primeramente en el contexto cotidiano de la Habana, y luego, la inserción de la misma práctica en otra realidad distinta (la europea). La idea de guerrilla estuvo condicionada por los primeros años en Cuba y posteriormente, el uso de esa estrategia pragmática un tanto romántica, le permitió desplazarse en Europa sobre el terreno movedizo y frágil de una acción artística que contextualizaba su experiencia social en el “capitalismo”, definida por el artista irónicamente como “Revantgarde” (2005). Resulta sintomático que en la exposición Out-of-place artifacts (OOPArt) (2008), los collages que combinaban fotografías de porcelanas del siglo XVIII intervenidas con recortes de revistas porno, fue acompañada con un catálogo donde se reproducía secciones del libro del Che Guevara sobre la guerrilla. Acaso, luego de demostrarse el fracaso del sistema socialista, ¿no queda sino boicotear en acciones guerrilleras el triunfo del capitalismo y la clase burguesa con su gusto y consumismo? ¿O es que el planteo sigue siendo que el arte siempre debe ser el estado de conciencia, la guerrilla urbana que ponga en duda la realidad “del mejor mundo posible” que nos venden? La obsesión con el papel del artista en participar del proceso de construcción de la sociedad, llevó a muchos durante la década de los 80s en Cuba a tomar de referencia a la vanguardia rusa. Incorporar su estética y “utopías” se convirtió en estrategias válidas de acción. Contradictoriamente, en la década siguiente de los 90s, se demostró una vez más su ineficiencia como proyecto en el contexto caribeño (por ejemplo, pienso en el trabajo de Los Carpinteros y Carlos Garaicoa durante esos años). No obstante, el deseo de involucrarse en el acontecimiento político y social que marcaba la vida cotidiana del cubano, era una realidad incontestable que el arte no podía evitar. Revantgarde o guerrilla emergente, un término irónico y otro pragmático, serían más apropiado para hablar ...