Anyone visiting these days the premises of Factory Havana, a gallery on O’Reilly Street in Old Havana, may experience estrangement and delight suddenly. The postmodern artistic languages tend to be eccentric, if we stick to the crescendo of resources like self-referentially, providing aesthetics to “ignoble” materials, and the alleged cynicism of some proposals…
D’DISEGNO. Cuban Response! does not discriminate in this regard, the twenty artists that make up this sample is at least diverse in its ambitions, languages, materials. The design as production field, mating home production and technology is actually a term in a process of redefinition, which covers areas as divergent as creating computerized or traditional drawing shapes, you can fix a cabinet or a sophisticated sandal.
The art-design approach has been mutual. The iconic Bauhaus School was a German icon of progress, modernist positivism, but in essence it has been the only attempt of interconnection between the world of art and design. In fact, it is common for certain creations of the last decades are placed in the space of reckless uncertainty: those fascinating sculptural furniture and interior by Boda Horak or costume and shoes designs by Anouki Bicholla, lead the consumer to lie on some and dress in other, to participate in a kind of performance consumption.
The proposal D’DISEGNO … is not diluted in absurd or suffers but rather risks; the project can be associated with the action or experimental playfulness into a store and exchange goods with labels, brands, prices. Consumers will experience a relaxation of the senses, such as seeing everything through different eyes, without the crutch of stereotypes. Comparable, but in reverse, is the work of Lilian Dooley, who proposes an apparent standardization of designs, planting a hanger for skirts and black dresses, unique size and unknown brand. That said, looking at the product exclusively for their artistic potential, ignoring aspects promotional prices, fetishes.
The exhibition includes other proposals nothing disqualifying such as José Ángel Toirac and Octavio César Marín (Deco’Arte) or Roberto Ramos Mori, present in this curatorship. Design of ambiguous interiors or “procedural” design, both works suggest room for multiple thoughts. Other pieces in the show are particularly attractive, for fertility and preciousness of design involved in the art object per se (Arantza Vilas), by the technological resources used (Interlaced, de Raúl Valdés –Raupa- and Edel Rodríguez –Mola-), the mordant wit (tachycardia of the agonizing and punctual heart of editorial cartoonists and newspapers, Fabian Muñoz), or by a universal appreciable projection in the recycling of materials and creative methods.
Under this premise, Celia Ledón and Mayelín Guevara have installed a bunch of mannequins dressed on sophisticated designs and spectacular sets of accessories and jewelry, as an alternative of eco-design or creative recycling. The recent art stress the imminent environmental danger rises in some elaborate proposals internationally, and occupies here a strong and original approach where they mingled imagination and subtlety.
Although I don’t intend to be conclusive, I think the original meaning or perhaps last of this curatorship, lies in the necessary abandonment of prejudice, outmoded classifications and positions. The invitation D’DISEGNO is interesting … especially for open minds, thoughts and sensory expandable in full possession of its aesthetic faculties.
Photo Gallery: Images from the opening of the D’DISEGNO exhibition taken by Rachel Morejon.