With Diamonds and Stones: My Education, the Cuban artist Diango Hernàndez recounts the contradictions and paradoxes of the persistence of the Castro regime and, specifically, the problems linked with Cubans’ cultural formation: the artist investigates the government’s complex and ambiguous educational mission between culture and revolutionary ideology. In this sense diamonds – precious stones which with their extraordinary hardness are considered timeless – become for Hernàndez the symbol of a land governed by a single party, the metaphor of an “untouchable” regime whose politics seem to have no end. Thus transfigured, the diamonds are transformed into the support for the images selected by the artist, drawn from slides used by the Cuban government since 1959 to inculcate communist iconography in Cuban youth. Everything is incorporated within multicoloured, faceted gems that alternate – on the pattern of propagandist language – with views of Cuba and portraits of the Lìder Maximo. Though they are longed-for and venerated objects of desire, for Hernàndez diamonds evoke the idea of fixity and therefore destruction. Born in Sancti Spíritus, Cuba (1970), Diango Hernàndez began his artistic career as cofounder of Ordo Amoris Cabinet, a group of Cuban artists and designers. Since 2003 he has been living and working in Düsseldorf. In 2006 he had a solo show at the Kunsthalle in Basel and, in 2007, at the Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen. He took part in the 51st Venice Biennale in 2005 and, in 2006, in the Sydney and São Paulo Biennales. Publisher: Damiani Editore
Editor: Eva Schmidt, Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen
Texts by Lisette Lagnado
Introduction by Steffen Mues and Eva Schmidt
Italian / English
296 Pages, hardback
270 Illustrations
ISBN 978 88 6208 080 4

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