Administration in times of melted plastic is a one off event that presents the work of Cuban artist collective Celia-Yunior for the first time in the UK. A screening programme of their defining video works will be followed by curator Alba Colomo in conversation with artists Celia Gonzalez and Yunior Aguiar, in which they will discuss both their own practice and the current Cuban contemporary art scene.
The programme includes:
Reserva – Reserve - 4.47min, 2010
Corte evaluativo – Evaluative cut - 2.27min, 2008
Habana, 15 segundos – Havana, 15 seconds - 2.07min, 2008
El cuerpo habla en pasado – The body speaks in past tense - 3.37min, 2006-07
Con los ojos en el cielo – With the eyes in the sky - 2.14min, 2006-07
Bojeo – Coasting - 7.24min, 2006-07
Puzzle – Puzzle - 0.47min, 2006
Contraseña VHS – Password VHS - 6.39min, 2005-06
Total screening time: 30 min (Please note that all the videos will be shown twice, before and after the conversation with artists).
The relationships between individual and State, the laws imposed by control institutions or the restructuring of the legal framework by the citizens, are some of the issues addressed in the work of Celia-Yunior. Specifically, their work analyses the void left by Law and in which the individual moves to generate practices that could potentially satisfy their needs.
While in every society there is often a regulatory gap, as the transformation or updating of laws is not synchronous with a population´s individual development, in Cuba this gap is emphasised because of the country´s extensive legal restrictions. Celia and Yunior explore these "spaces of lawlessness" used in the day to day, and push them to an extreme position, thus revealing the clear break between leaders and subordinates. Their works generate paths out of the cracks, leading to unexpected places not only for the viewer but especially for the institutions concerned.
In their work, Contraseña VHS –password VHS–, for example, they worked with a revolutionary forces veteran to develop an illegal business of film rental specialised in espionage, action and detective films. As in many other similar business in the city, the functioning was simple: a delivery man bringing films to the clients' homes. The difference this time is that the delivery man was once part of Fidel Castro's personal security guard. Security and secrecy are now a strategy to improve the retired military's own economy.
Following this line of analysis of alternative paths to legality, their video Puzzle shows the construction of a weapon by the combining of a metal pipe with other simple found pieces. In a country where guns are banned, mechanisms that go beyond the legality are very common. In this case, “the puzzle” is not only easy to make but also to return to its original state.
In all Celia-Yunior's works, documental and utilitarian functions are the central points of consideration, as they create actions and gestures to activate social life especially its debilitated and inefficient functions. The potential of effectiveness is not based on the formal aspects of their work, but rather on its capacity to detect the cracks in the dominant discourses and to display the strategies being used to do so.
AN EVENT CURATED BY ALBA COLOMO
Celia Gonzalez and Yunior Aguiar
Celia Gonzalez and Yunior Aguiar have been collaborating and working together since 2004. In 2006 they graduated from the Cátedra de Arte de Conducta –Behaviour Art School–, a long term intervention developed by Tania Bruguera in 2003. In 2009, they graduated from High Institute of Art (ISA) in Havana, where they are now lecturers. Their recent solo shows include: “I think I know…” Visual Art Development Center (Havana, 2012); “Surfing on concrete”, Salle Zeró, French Alliance, (Havana, 2011) and “Inventory”, First Edition, Foundation Ludwing, (Havana, 2007). They have also participated in several group exhibitions, such as, “El ardid de los inocentes”, Factoria Habana, (Havana, 2013); 11 Havana Biennale, (Havana, 2012); “Gulliver”, Freies Museum, Berlin; “Videoarte Festival”, Nacional Library, Buenos Aires; “Unterm Schweibfell”, E105 Gallery, Berlin, Germany; “Situating No-land: Videoart from Latin America”, Slought Foundation, Filadefia, USA ; III Week of Latinoamerican video, Andalucía, Spain in 2011; “Cuban Video”, 8th Floor Space, New York; “Off The Record”, Edge Zones, Miami; “Stoic Tropic”, University Museum of Science and Art, Mexico; 7ma Gwangju Biennale, “Arte Conducta”, (South Korea, 2008).
Alba Colomo is an independent curator based in London. Her most recent projects are estado ausente at Lugar a Dudas in Cali, Colombia, research by walking at Sala Rekalde in Bilbao and at HWW in Rotterdam, and Art Control Society-Arte Control Sociedad, a publication that shows work by three artists around the issue of social control. In October she will develop a project as part of the Bienal Siart in La Paz and an exhibition and research residency at KIOSKO, an independent art space in Sta Cruz (Bolivia). Alba Colomo graduated in Humanities from the Carlos III University in Madrid she holds an MA in Curating Latin American Art at the University of Essex.