For Diango Hernández, however, Socialist Nature is not so much about environmental issues. To him, nature is a medium that he interprets very broadly, ultimately in order to discuss the history and politics of Cuba in his art. The ideas behind Socialist Nature unite a number of different threads in a particularly ingenious, diachronic view. In terms of art history, Hernández refers back to the Romantic period, projecting its perspectives onto the recent history of his country. Like mediaeval ruins, charged with meaning in the Romantic period, he sees the unfinished buildings and ruins of progress in his country as a requiem to the great “allure” of communism. Today, trees and shrubs grow through the walls and roofs of deserted “becas”, Cuba’s collective rural boarding schools, in which Diango Hernández also spent formative school years. The buildings, once installed in the countryside like satellites of societal progress, remind Hernández of the ruins depicted in Romantic paintings. Where communism failed, nature is now taking back the land(…)

Excerpt from
Socialist Nature or the utopia of the ordinary by Gerhard Obermüller for “Socialist Nature”, book published by DISTANZ

Open Plan
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