Saturday, 1 November 2014

The Wrinkles of the City - La Havana

I'm on a quest at the moment, looking for new things to read, watch and do; to inspire and inject creativity in my right brain (which hasn't been nourished as much as I'd like recently).

Tonight I came across a short film/documentary that did just that: The Wrinkles of the City - La Havana. The documentary is about two artists (JR and José Parlá) who collaborate on a photography and street art project for the Havana Biennale.

The Havana Biennale is an Art Exhibition that takes place in Havana every two years, with the aim of promoting the Third World contemporary art. The Biennale is considered a really important forum for underrepresented voices, and artists from all over the world submit their works, although Latin American and Caribbean artists have priority.

In the film JR and José conduct a series of interviews and portrait photographs, 25 in total, with randomly selected senior citizens who lived through the Cuban revolution. The subjects' portraits are then blown-up, pasted on the deteriorated walls of Cuban buildings and interlaced with palimpsestic calligraphic writing, offering commentary on the live's of their subjects.

These huge mural installations are right up my street, as I've always been a fan of taking art away from paper and I worked in a similar way during my Fine Art A Level. The portraits are stunning and it's refreshing to see everyday people celebrated this way and in such a large scale. I defy you to say these people aren't beautiful.

The film is 30 minutes long, but don't let that deter you from watching it. Grab yourself a cuppa, turn off the mind-numbing TV programmes you usually watch, and let yourself be transported overseas to another world. A world where there's no advertising on the streets and mesmerising Cuban music echos everywhere...

And if you like what you've seen, there are more 'Wrinkles of the City' projects in LA, Shaghai, Berlin and Cartagena to be seen, as well as other projects such as 'Face to Face, Israel & Palestine' over on JR's website:

Buenas noches!