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Instruction manual
The how and why of pinnacle or decline according to Flavio Garciandía
Ninth Havana Biennale
Instruction manual
Contemporary Cuban Art

Instruction manual

Curator Mario González (Mayito) was the instigator of the idea when one day he and painter Roberto Fabelo started to dab paint on the door of an old 1950s American fridge. Soon, other artists joined in the initiative of recycling the electro domestic articles that had been discontinued thanks to the Energy Revolution’s anti-waste offensive. When the decorated fridges didn’t fit any more into Mayito’s house and garden, they moved to the convent of Santa Clara.
The exhibition of fridges is entitled Instruction manual. Jorge Luis Montesinos, exhibition curator and creator of one of the fridges, considers them to be key industrial objects converted into works of art by the ingenuity of national artists and so become icons not only of Cuba’s historic but also its cultural and anthropological memory.
Kcho crossed his with oars and called it Objeto soñado (Dreamed object). The actor Jorge Perugorría turned the framework of Rocco, that belonged to Diego who he played in the Oscar nominated Fresa y Chocolate (Strawberry and Chocolate) into a funerary monument to a whole generation of electro domestics by writing a panegyric biography. Abel Barroso stuffed his full of black and white woodcuts of bombs, aircraft carriers, tanks and satellites and called it Se acabó la guerra fría, a gozar con la globalización (The cold war is over, now to enjoy globalisation). Alejandro and Esteban Leyva decorated their ‘General’ Electric with brass medals. Eduardo Ponjuán found one bearing the Coca-Cola label so he filled it with Tropicola, the Cuban equivalent. Martínez put a chimney on his and barbecued meat for the public.
This show provided ample demonstration that concept art is still in public favour. The 52 fridges didn’t only take the CENCREM centre by storm but everyone who saw the biennale. They were the sensation of the year. Even children loved them and we know children are never wrong. The exhibition has been invited to travel to Spain, Mexico and other countries...

+ information pág. 112-121 The H 2007 08

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