DemocracySolo exhibition curated by Dagmar Behr at Kunstverein Arnsberg
The speeches’ room by Diango Hernández. The concept of democracy is used to legitimize governance; calling a government undemocratic implies it shouldn’t exist. The ideas of freedom, independence and liberation have been used in the post-revolutionary Cuba as fundamental political tools when Democracy has been a very sensitive topic, a concept that Cuban government had refused even to discuss. To start a reflection about “Democracy” it is for me a mandatory task, I wonder if through an art research I could get some answers about what Democracy is. With this series of works I am exploring the concept of democracy as a cacophony (Discordant sounds in the jarring juxtaposition of harsh letters or syllables, sometimes inadvertent, but often deliberately used in poetry for effect). The show presents a multilayer group of confusing and historically suspicious objects.
“Speeches” the central piece of the exhibition is an arrangement of six record players playing simultaneously different speeches from world leaders. Their sound level of every record player has been set with equal intensity. As a result we hear an irritating noise; the visitor is confused by multiple ovations and political hysteria, the small room that contains “Speeches” contaminate the whole exhibition, the sound travels through multiple rooms loading each of the other pieces with certain dirtiness.
Born in 1970 in Sancti Spíritus (Cuba), he lives and works between Düsseldorf (Germany) and Havana (Cuba). Diango Hernández studied Industrial Design in Havana in the early 1990s, amid the economic crisis triggered by the fall of the Soviet Union, he participated in various collective initiatives as part of the Cuban cultural scene. In the early 2000s he moved to Düsseldorf, where he continued to produce the multimedia works that have made him one of the leading heirs of the American conceptual legacy.
For Hernández, drawing is not so much a working method as a way of thinking about and assimilating the world. He strives to understand the subjective component of this medium, subverting some of its codes and transferring its meanings to space, sound, design and architecture.
Hernández work was the subject of solo exhibitions at Kunsthalle Basel, Kunsthalle Münster, Kunsthalle Lingen, Haus der Kunst Munich, Aachen Kunstverein, Landesgalerie Linz and Museum Morsbroich. His work was exhibited in the Venice Biennale, Biennale of Sydney and the São Paulo Biennial.
Diango Hernández work was the subject of a critically acclaimed exhibition of new work, “Losing You Tonight,” at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Siegen and in 2010 two installations were included in “The New Décor” at the Hayward Gallery, London. A survey exhibition of his work took place at Museo D’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (MART) in Rovereto. In 2017, Marlborough Contemporary London, Alexander and Bonin NY, Galerie Barbara Thumm Berlin and Nicolas Krupp Basel presented at Unlimited, Art fair Basel Words to Sea.