Born in Cuba in 1970, Hernández moved to Europe in 2003 and currently lives and works between Havana and Düsseldorf

Stop Motherfuckers Group exhibition at "Lichtkunst aus Kunstlicht" curated by Gregor Jansen at ZKM Museum für Neue Kunst, Karlsruhe

everal car’s tail lights switched on laying down over the floor in a museum room, they are just pieces of a bigger system but the system is absent, they look like a ruins of a night traffic jam, they can’t move but still they can work as they used to. The red tail-lights are the warning signs in our daily life, telling us that we have to stop otherwise we’ll crash. The western society economical and technological development had brought the underdevelopment of the collective conscience and as a consequence the cynicism about global issues, Tail lights (Stop mother fuckers) is saying one more time stop to all the things we all know have to be stopped and at the same time is using the “art eco” to multiply this voice. The red tail-lights on are a powerful sign, they already had created a warning automatism inside us; I want to present this automatism as a conscience possibility, as a fact that confirm that still we can stop even when we are apart.   Catalogue: Lichtkunst aus Kunstlicht. Light art from artificial light, Pages: 700 Seiten, Publisher: Hatje Cantz Verlag; Auflage: Bilingual (1. March 2006), Language: Deutsch, ISBN-10: 3775717749, 28,4 x 22 x 5,2 cm ...

The Museum of Capitalism Solo exhibition curated by Susanne Titz at Altes Museum, Mönchengladbach, Germany

“Diango Hernández, Museum of Capitalism” by Doris Krystof ch freue mich sehr über die Einladung von Susanne Titz und Hubertus Wunschik, zur Eröffnung des „Museum of Capitalism“ zu sprechen, das der aus Kuba stammende Künstler Diango Hernández im alten Museum von Mönchengladbach eingerichtet hat. Diango Hernández hält sich zur Zeit im Rahmen des durch die Josef und Hilde Wilberz – Stiftung geförderten städtischen Stipendiums in Mönchengladbach auf. Er ist einer jener jungen Künstler, die ständig unterwegs sind, permanent die Orte wechseln, die „zwischen den Welten“ unterwegs sind. „Zwischen den Welten“, im Falle von Diango Hernández kann man das mit Fug und Recht sagen, denn seit mehreren Jahren pendelt er zwischen Kuba und Europa. Im Sozialismus der Karibikinsel aufgewachsen, hat er in den letzten Jahren bei seinem Bruder im italienischen Trento gelebt, dann mehrere Monate in Spanien verbracht, und nun, hier im Rheinland schliessen sich gewissermaßen die Kreise. Denn Diango Hernández ist als Künstler im Rheinland bei weitem kein Unbekannter: 1998 realisierte er eine aufsehenerregnde Installation aus hängenden Antennen und einer aus vier polnischen Ladas zusammengebauten kubanischen Stretch-Limousine im Ludwigforum in Aachen, im Anschluss daran war er mehrfach – mit hinreißenden Zeichnungen oder einer wüsten Installation aus banalen weißen Plastikstühlen – in der Kölner Galerie Frehrking Wiesehöfer zu sehen, und im vergangenen Jahr war Diango Hernández an der um die Musik von Mouse on Mars konzipierten Ausstellung „doku/fiction“ in der Kunsthalle Düsseldorf beteiligt. Manch einer mag sich aktuell aber auch an Diango Hernández‘ Beitrag für die diesjährige Biennale in Venedig erinnern: die Soundinstallation „Palabras“ („Worte“), die in der ehemaligen Seilerei im Arsenal im Rahmen der von Rosa Martinez kuratierten Ausstellung „Sempre un piu lontano“ – „Immer ein bißchen weiter“ gezeigt wird. „Palabras“ besteht aus der Installation von sechs umgekippten, hölzernen Strommasten, die noch mit diesen altertümlichen Porzellanköpfen versehen sind. Die abgelösten Stromkabel ragen dabei frei in den Raum, sehen aus wie in die Luft gezeichnete Kringel oder Schleifen. Dazu erscheint auf der dahinterliegenden Ziegelwand eine Text-Projektion: Einem Film-Abspann im Kino vergleichbar, läuft eine Liste mit den Amtszeiten sämtlicher kommunistischer Machthaber. Bei vielen Namen der neueren Geschichte liest man  „( xy  -1989)“, nur als die Reihe an Fidel Castro kommt, erscheint da: „(1959-)“. Das Ensemble aus gefällten Strommasten und Filmprojektion wird von einer herzergreifenden italienischen Schlagermusik aus den 60er Jahren begleitet. Politik und Poesie gehen in dieser eindrucksvollen Arbeit eine ganz besondere, für Diango Hernández typische Mischung eingehen. Es ist eine politische künstlerische Haltung, die aufklärerisch agiert und zugleich mit eminenter Leichtigkeit das Rätselhafte und Mysteriöse berührt. Die für Mönchengladbach entstandene Ausstellung schließt in mehrfacher Hinsicht an die Biennale-Arbeit an. Auch hier im alten Museum verbindet sich das starke politische Interesse des Künstlers mit einer ausgesprochen poetischen Haltung und einer großen Sensibilität gegenüber dem Ort. Vielleicht ist es bereits diese Verbindung, die an Marcel Broodthaers denken lässt, dessen Verständnis von „Poesie als Störung von Weltordnung“, von „Poesie als indirekte politische Frage“ Grundlage seines bildkünstlerischen Werks gewesen ist. Der Gedanke an Broodthaers liegt aber auch deswegen nahe, weil er genau hier in diesen Räumen unter Johannes Cladders eine wichtige Ausstellung gehabt hat, die auch um das Thema Museum kreiste. „Poesie als Störung von Weltordnung“, „Poesie als indirekte politische Frage“ – Auch in den Arbeiten von Diango Hernández geht es vielfach um Worte, um Sprache als Kommunikationsmittel, um Musik zur Übermittlung von Stimmungen, und um die verschiedensten technischen Hilfen bei der Vermittlung von Kommunikation. So spielen immer wieder das Radio eine Rolle, der Plattenspieler, Lautsprecher und Verstärker, und immer wieder taucht die Antenne als Zeichen für das Senden und Empfangen von Botschaften auf. Dabei hat die Ambivalenz von Glaube an die emanzipative Kraft von Sprache einerseits und die Skepsis gegenüber der verführerischen Rhetorik der Macht andererseits die künstlerische Arbeit von Diango Hernández stark geprägt. Diese Ambivalenz kommt auch in dieser Ausstellung deutlich zum Ausdruck: so etwa am Beispiel einer der neuesten Kommunikationsmedien, dem Internet. Diango Hernández‘ „Museum of Capitalism“ ist ein Projekt für, mit und über das Internet. Gibt man www.museumofcapitalism.com ein, gelangt man auf eine Seite, die der Startseite der Suchmaschine Google nachempfunden ist, genau gesagt der US-amerikanischen Google-Seite. Dort hat Diango Hernández als Suchbegriff das Wort „Freedom“ (Freiheit) eingegeben und das absurde Ergebnis von 136 Millionen Treffern erzielt. Unterschiedslos rubriziert die Suchmaschine Seiten mit hoch politischen Inhalten neben Inseraten für Freeclimbing oder Surfclubs. Unter der Option „pictures“ hat Diango Hernández schließlich unterschiedlichste Bilder zum Suchbegriff Freiheit versammelt und damit eine Zuordnung von Bild und Begriff mit beinahe Magritte’schem Anstrich zu Wege gebracht. Zusammen mit den Ausdrucken der Freedom-Übersichtsseiten wurden die gegoogelten Freiheitsbilder in dem gerade erschienenen Buch „Museum of Capitalism“ publiziert. Ein Teil der Ausdrucke der Übersichtsseiten findet sich hier im Treppenhaus an der Wand installiert und markiert damit den Auftakt zu der nach diesem Netz-Projekt benannten Ausstellung „Museum of Capitalism“. In der schieren Menge der Einträge des Internets wölbt sich der Begriff „Freiheit“ zu einem nicht mehr zu bewältigenden Berg an Information auf. Inkomensurabel damit ist die subjektive Erfahrung von Unfreiheit, wie sie etwa im nahezu vollständigen Verbot des Internets in Kuba zum Ausdruck kommt und die scheinbare Grenzenlosigkeit des Netzes relativiert. Wenn das Internet als Inbegriff der globalen Vernetzung nichts anderes als eine chaotische Fülle der Information generiert, steht dem eine durch individuelle Vernunft geregelte Ordnung der Dinge gegenüber, die allerdings neu zu verhandeln ist. Stichwort: „Poesie als Störung der Weltordnung“, um noch einmal auf Broodthaers zurückzukommen. Und wie Broodthaers greift Diango Hernández auf die Vorstellung vom Museum als eine der ältesten Ordnungsmaschinerien unserer Kultur zurück und spielt noch einmal durch, was es zu bewahren, zu betrachten und zu vermitteln gilt. Hilfestellung dabei gibt eine gewisse Guerillataktik, die ins Museum Dinge einschleust, die an Kunst erinnern, aber doch etwas anderes meinen. Gleich zu Beginn im ersten Raum eine skulpturale Installation aus Tischen mit dem Titel „Amplified Secret“ – Vergrößertes Geheimnis (das klingt schon wieder nach René Magritte, diesem Taktiker der Verstörung!). Eine Reihe umgestürzter und auf einer diagonal durch den Raum verlaufenden Linie arrangierter Schultische bildet eine halbhohe Wand. Die Tische stammen aus Mönchengladbach und Umgebung, weisen Gebrauchsspuren auf, ...

The Museum of Capitalism (freedom) A book published by Revolver in the occasion of Diango Hernández solo exhibition "The Museum of Capitalism" at Altes Musuem, Mönchengladbach, Germany

In 2003 the Cuban artist Diango Hernández made www.themuseumofcapitalism.com a website that named Google (the most used web engine in the web) as the museum of capitalism itself. Now the artist is presenting in this book his search in "The Museum of Capitalism" about freedom, the result is a big mass of incomplete information an astonishing variety of possible ...

Revantgarde Book published by Sternberg Press in the occasion of Diango Hernández solo exhibtion at Paolo Maria Deanesi Gallery, Rovereto, Italy

In the 1990s, Cuban-born artist Diango Hernández started an extended series of drawings which processed the political and economical crisis of Cuba after the collapse of the socialist systems in Eastern Europe. These drawings functioned as a kind of political diary where the artist could transform everyday objects from the street into utopian configurations. Hernández came to call his entire practise “drawing,” be it a complex installation, a sculpture or an accidental trace on a piece of ...

Revantgarde Solo exhibition at Paolo Maria Deanesi Gallery, Rovereto

“REVANTGARDE” by Anke Kempkes n the 1990s Diango Hernández started an extended series of drawings which processed the political and economical crisis of Cuba after the collapse of the socialist systems in Eastern Europe. ’We lost the last support of the Soviet Union, which meant confronting a big crisis. We knew about Perestroika and everyone was concerned: What was the political mistake? But the big confusion over the rising ecomomical crisis was soon predominating. And then, inevitably, the daily life was taken over by the struggle for survival. (…) At the same time I began to make this big mass of drawings out of what was my personal point of view of the crisis. I did self-portraits, illusionary architectures and cities, projects which are never going to be realized.’ Coming from a background of industrial design Diango Hernández formed the collaboration Gabinete Ordo Amoris with his friend Francis Acea. The artists collected everyday objects which were provisionally produced out the last resources people could get hold of. These objects were astonishing creations and they were the manifestation of a highly independent and individual reaction towards the broad circumstances of devastating poverty. IF THEY TAKE THE LIGHT AWAY I’ LL INVENT SOMETHING TO LIGHT MY HOUSE “These objects, pragmatic and strangely sculptural, had a special melancholic beauty, – they were products of a moment of dramatic transition’. Diango Hernández recognized their importance documenting a very particular chapter in Cuban social history. But the cheer anthropological activity of collecting seemed not to be satisfactory for his artistic sensibility and his understanding of the role an artists could take in this process. In his eyes a far more adequate tool, the activity of drawing functioned for Hernández as a political diary and positioned the artist in accordance with the new urban productivity which grew out of the daily needs. His artistic practice resonated the perception of the crisis. ‘I was acting artistically out of a collective consciousness. Havana was a backdrop, a big landscape of mistakes. (…) I did it at home late at night and of course I could not tell this to anybody. In a modest and quiet way I began to comment on circumstances, places, opinions that poeple have. (…) They were hidden in my place without exposure which was actually in a way also a living condition of each of us. You can see some flashes from outside but what is really counting is what is happening inside. And it was happening in every family in every place. My practice was a document – writing, commenting, drawing -, the most sophisticated strategy for me.’ ARTE ES REVOLUCION In his drawings Hernández transformed the objects from the street into utopian configurations. They gain a new life of their own, morphing into numerous possibilities of self-structuring. Often these biting scenarios imply a self-portrait. Depicted in deliberately naive ways which remind of Chagall or Picasso, the face of the artist is suddenly attached to the body of a horse or another creature of a kind, chimeras carrying a mission, using the disguise of the animal as a subversive strategy. Hernández regarded himself at this point as a medium of the political constellation surrounding him, while it became equally important to him to stage his individual position and emotionality right in the center of the little universe he created in his obsessive‚ automatism’ produced body of drawings. In actual fact he started to call his entire practice „drawing“, be it a complex installation, a sculpture or an accidental trace on a piece of paper. PASSION IS THE MOST SUBVERSIVE BEHAVIOR IN CAPITALISM BE SURE BEFORE BEING SURE BE LOST BEFORE BEING LOST BE IN LOVE BEFORE BEI IN LOVE ‘After a while I had thousands of drawings in my house and I decided to come to Europe. Now I had something to say about what is a circumstance. It was a big testing to present them in the European context. They were not exotic items, no phantasy, rather they belong to a specific social history.’ However politically invested these drawings are, there is always this other fantastic side to them. Hernández’ iconography subtly relates here back to the narrative inventions of Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier. In his manifesto on The Marvelous Real (Lo real maravilloso) from 1949 Carpentier rejected the ‚pointless’ imagination of the Surrealists for not being rooted enough in reality. For him the tropics with all there exoticism, eroticism and anti-colonial struggles constitute the ideal surreal imagination. MORE TROPI CALS REVOLUTIONS In his novel The Kingdom of This World Carpentier re-enacts the time of Haiti’s liberation from French colonialist rule, a period of unsurpassed brutality, horror, and superstition. The ancient slave Ti-Noel becomes the key-figure, the leader of an a new type of guerrilla, escaping his prosecution by transforming with the help of voodoo into the bodies of different animals. HOW COULD EXIST DEMOCRACY IF WE ARE SLAVES Diango Hernández’ use of romantic and fantastic motifs in his drawings is an attempt to formulate and enable a new position in contemporary art which owes a lot to the specific political and historical background he comes from. The disturbing presence of the conventional, icons of beauty and desire in his works are propositions for a future which is open to a strong imagination also in the realm of the political. ‘These works are subversive in a subtle way, because there is beauty implied in each of them. And I really like to keep it as a key for making communication possible through them. I am not interested in inventing something new, in pursuing a style or trend. I use the existing languages of art, through which something can then be read. In my opinion it does not make sense anymore to work in avantgardist categories. Particularly when it comes to architecture and urban structures artists tend to take it on as a language of the contemporary. I once choose the term ‚revantgarde’ to define my practice. Of course, it’s a risk ...

Palabras Group exhibition "Always a little Further" curated by Rosa Martínez at Arsenale, 51. Venice Biennial

“Palabras” by Anke Kempkes n the 1990s Diango Hernández was prodrucing an extended series of drawings which processed the political and economical crisis of Cuba after the colapse of the socialist systems in East-Europe. ‘I was acting artistically out of a collective consciousness. Havana was a backdrop, a big landscape of mistakes.’ The installation Palabras is a three-dimensional materialisation of this special drawing activity reflecting on a political constellation – the dramatic, everlasting conflict between Cuba and the United States – in the construction of a ruin, an allegorical site, shifting between a range of factual experience and images of desire and mutual projections. The almost mythical dimension of the conflict of opposite systems, – both deeply conservative in the very sense of the notion – , is inflected with a sense of melancholy and nostalgia, while it was and is still producing highly destructive and brutal effects on humans beings. Palabras materializes this state of destruction of past and present, belonging to the collective perception of the every-day in Cuba, a sedimentation of to political into the minds of people: ‘Palabras is a scenario, an abandoned construction site, ruins of a long process of longing and of tropical trance, but also Palabras is a fact proving another way of construction. The political demagogy has destroyed a city, but it as well has constructed a country, it formed.’ In the foreground of the installation some primitive electricity poles are arranged in way which transports a sense of out-datedness. Due to neglect or destruction they became dysfunctional. The poles are reminiscent of the praise of communication technology in communist propaganda and at the same time contrasting the standards of technology in the US today, the big machinery of high-end communication and entertainment industry, forming the modern form of mass propaganda. ‘Electrification was the most important strategic-economical plan in Lenin’s agenda for all socialist countries, especially the ones called underdeveloped…, electricity had an important function: to bring technology and also the industry of propaganda and indoctrination to the most distant places… .’ A video-projection and a recorded sound-choreography are collaged into the reality effect of the staged objects, the abandoned site of the poles. The three levels of sound, objects scattered on the floor and the slowly fading images on the wall, turn the whole scenery into a moment of political trance: There is a sound track mixing the anthems of Cuba and US-America, a track called ‘Pentagon’ performed by Gonzalo Rubalcaba, as well as telephone conversation between President Nixon and Henry Kissinger on the Watergate affaire. The projection is a subtle montage of politically highly charged images, calling to mind the complex relationship between Cuba and the States in the course of the 20th century: there are two images of the monument to the Maine victims (‘A Las Victimas del MAINE’) which was inaugurated in 1925 and dedicated to the victims of the American naval vessel in the time of the Spanish-American conflict over Cuba’s fight for independence at the end of the 19th century. The first image shows the monument in the time when it was still considered as a symbol for the American presence in Cuba. The second photo shows the monument in its today shape with the Eagle demounted from it as a symbol of Cuba’s independence. Another image shows the massive Jose Marti-monument on Revolution Square in Havana from 1959. It is a highest point in the capital and the strongest icon of Cuban revolution. Next to the Cuban imagery we are suddenly confronted with a satellite photo from 1962, which was used as a proof of the presence of Soviet nuclear missiles on Cuba. Again an image of the same year, – but from a seemingly very different sphere -, appears, showing Rudolf Nureyev in an stunning ballet performance of ‘Le Corsaire’. The course of the intense documentary is interrupted by an image of red roses. Their beauty has an acidly romantic presence and can not be related to the rest of the concept right away although there is something very disturbing to them. And indeed the roses become here a sinister symbol of American political trauma: After her husbands murder Jacqueline Kennedy stated: ‘Three times a day in Texas we were greeted with bouquets of the yellow roses of Texas. Only in Dallas they gave me red roses. I remember thinking: How funny … red roses for me.’ The video ends with a ‘trailer’ in which a list of the socialist countries presidents and prime ministers scrolls down to the song ‘E penso a te’ performed by Mina. ...

Waiting Solo booth at ArtForum Berlin with Galerie Frehrking Wiesehöfer

“A Bolero” by Diango Hernández  revolutionary is a person who either advocates or actively engages in some kind of revolution. Since the term “revolution” may be used to refer to a sudden change in any field, one may speak of political revolutionaries, social revolutionaries, revolutionary scientists, inventors, artists, etc. In a political context, the term “revolutionary” is often used in contrast to the term reformist. While a revolutionary is someone who supports quick and abrupt change, a reformist is someone who supports slow and gradual change. Political revolutionaries may be classified in two ways: According to the goals of the revolution they propose. Usually, these goals are part of a certain ideology. In theory, each ideology could generate its own brand of revolutionaries. In practice, most political revolutionaries have been either liberals, nationalists, socialists, communists or anarchists. According to the methods they propose to use. This divides revolutionaries in two broad groups: Those who advocate a violent revolution, and those who are pacifists. Perhaps the best known examples of these two types of revolutionaries are Che Guevara and Mahatma Gandhi, respectively. From Wikipedia I can’t be happy, {Adolfo Guzman}, Performed by Ignacio Villa {Bola de Nieve} I can’t be happy I can’t forget you I am feeling that I lost you And that make me think That I renounced  to you Full of passion We can’t have at the same time Conscience and heart. Today that law and reason divide us If the souls could talk In their conversation Ours would say Things of enamoured I can’t be happy I can’t forget you. ...

doku/fiction Mouse on Mars – reviewed & remixed Group exhibition curated by Peter Gorschlüter at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf

ie kaum eine andere Band ist Mouse on Mars bekannt für die genreübergreifende Faszination ihrer Produktionen, in denen Pop, Club, A-Musik und neumusikalische Konzepte scheinbar mühelos zusammenfließen. Die beiden Musiker Jan St.Werner und Andi Toma, die 1994 ihr gemeinsames Projekt Mouse on Mars tauften und ihre Musik in dem selbstgebauten Tonstudio in Düsseldorf produzieren, verschreiben sich dabei einer geheimnisvollen Methode namens „phantastische Analyse”. Ausgehend von der Idee, ein Remix-Album der Musik von Mouse on Mars als gedruckten Sammelband zu veröffentlichen, haben Jan St.Werner und Andi Toma gemeinsam mit der Kunsthalle Düsseldorf über 30 Künstler und Wissenschaftler zu ihren Vorstellungen und Bezügen zu Mouse on Mars befragt. Sie wurden eingeladen, mit Mouse on Mars in Dialog zu treten und Beiträge für das Projekt zu entwickeln, ohne dabei Sound zu generieren. Angeregt durch die Musik von Mouse on Mars, die eher „work in progress” ist, als daß sie Abgeschlossenheit anstrebt, entstanden Ideen, Entwürfe und Werke, die einhergehen mit einer phantastischen, manchmal formalen, stets aber persönlichen Interpretation musikalischen Erlebens. Die Ausstellung präsentiert Installationen, Gemälde, Videos, Fotografien, Zeichnungen und Skulpturen. Zwischen Dokumentation und Fiktion, Fakten und Narration werden künstlerische Ansätze und Produktionsverfahren, theoretische Reflexionen und phantastische Interpretationen, die zahlreiche Verweise auf die Musik von Mouse on Mars beinhalten, einander gegenübergestellt. Dabei erschließen sich vielgestaltige Erzähl- und Ideenräume.   Mit Beiträgen von Heike Baranowsky, Rosa Barba, Laurent Baudoux, Armin Boehm, Michel Carré, Katja Davar, Jan De Cock, Diango Hernández, Waseem Khan, Matthias Köchling, Dirk Königsfeld, Stefan Kozalla, Simon Lewis, Jean-François Moriceau & Petra Mrzyk, Soulis Moustakidis, Daniel Roth, Constantin Rothkopf, Silke Schatz, Christian Schwarzwald, Alice Stepanek/Steven Maslin, Leif Trenkler, Emmett Williams, Jo Zimmermann. Die Ausstellung wird begleitet von einem umfangreichen Rahmenprogramm mit Beiträgen von Dietmar Dath, Frank Dommert, F.X.Randomiz, Olaf Karnik, Mouse on Mars, Schlammpeitziger, Johannes Ullmaier, Vert, Oswald Wiener uvm. Peter Gorschlüter (Kunsthalle Düsseldorf), Jan St.Werner/Andi Toma (Mouse on MarsUsing Mouse on Mars’ songs, albums and concerts as inspiration, 37 artists, musicians, designers and academics have created commentaries, paintings, drawings and collages for this book. The results gathered here document the visual, artistic and theoretical contexts of modern electronic music as well as a range of personal interpretations of what it’s like to experience it. The book contains essays by author and journalist Dietmar Dath as well as Professor Siegfried Zielinski of the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne in addition to an interview of linguist and cyberneticist Oswald Wiener by Jan St. Werner. As an added bonus, the book includes an audio CD featuring an exclusive Mouse on Mars track. The concept for an accompanying exhibition was born out of the book project. It will be held at the German museum Kunsthalle Duesseldorf from April 4 through June 27, 2004. A press conference will take place on April 2 at 11 AM with the official opening on April 3 at 8 PM. For more information on this exhibition, please see . Peter Gorschlüter, Jan St. Werner, Andi Toma   Catalogue: Editors – Kunsthalle Düsseldorf Release Date: April 2004 Format: 16.8 x 24 cm Features: 160 Pages, Softcover, incl. CD with exclusive audio track Language: bilingual German/English ISBN: 978-3-89955-035-1 ...