While a part of the world awaits Castro’s final death certificate, and the United States set the countdown to start exporting democracy to the island of Cuba, Diango Hernández’s new works arrive best timed than ever. With the title Diamonds and Stones: My education, the Cuban artist comprises in his first solo show with Federico Luger (FL GALLERY) a new series of photographs examining the failure of the revolutionary utopia and its degeneration into a historical fetish and anachronistic tourist attraction. Since the beginning of the 90s, using wastes and found materials, Diango Hernández has documented in his works the isolation and economic crisis that have shaken the island since the collapse of the USSR. For the exhibition the artist retrieves images taken from slides that the Cuban government has used since 1959 to instill in Cuban youth the communist iconography. Paradoxically – because represent totally opposite principles – these imagines are turned into diamonds and precious stones. Diamond formation requires exposure of carbon-bearing materials to extreme condition of high temperature and pressure; a process which Diango Hernandez uses as the metaphor for the pressure of this imagery had upon his childhood. 350 slides which were not legal to transport outside Cuba, here he displays inside the cut of the precious stone, transfigurated into the utmost symbol of Western capitalism and present to the outside world in unique edition. To complete the exhibition path the installation Years, a 14 meters long wall made of a numerical representation of the years 1959 to 2008 in rusted steel. The numbers/dates that composes the installation starts at 1959, year when the Cuban Revolution has started, and ends in 2008.
The piece has been shown at Haus der Kunst, Munich; Mart Museum, Rovereto, Italy and MOSTYN, Wales.