Hamlet Lavastida 2020/21
Hamlet Lavastida (*1983 in Havana/Cuba, lives and works in Havanna) works with posters, prints, collages, photos and videos.
He sees his work as a compiling archive of different iconographic and linguistic identities from the period in which the institutionalization of socialism took place in Cuba, especially the decades from the 1960s to the 1980s. For the artist, this form of representational archaeology arose out of the need to create an objective criterion for certain hidden areas of the implementation, administration and operation of state political practices in Cuba. Lavastida’s artistic practice focuses on the reappropriation of texts, images and symbols, as well as political speeches and ideological terminologies, which he critically examines in the context of his work. Relevant here is their reinterpretation using the same or a similar format in which they were originally created.
Cultura Profiláctica – with this title Hamlet Lavastida opens his solo exhibition at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, making use of a term from the health sector, which he believes has revealed numerous structures of a prophylactic culture during the pandemic, not only in his country of origin, Cuba, but worldwide.
Kottbusser Straße 10
10999 Berlin / Germany
16.04. – 16.05.2021
Tue - Sun: 2 - 7pm
Admission free and by appointment only
Lavastida is showing two immersive installations made of paper cuts on opposite walls. On one side, the transcription of Javier Caso’s interrogation (from 2020), which went viral, is linked to a letter by the poet Heberto Padilla written to the revolutionary government in 1971. On the opposite wall, the artist displays a compiled archive of various iconographic and linguistic testimonies from the period in which the institutionalisation of socialism took place in Cuba, especially between the 1960s and 80s. Through his personal confrontation with the cultural archives, which are not recognised as such within Cuban society, Lavastida creates a register and demands a critical examination of Cuban history. In doing so, he criticises the lack of education and memory work in the social system of today’s Cuba.