Silver-gelatine on paper. 1999-2001
This series shows Impressions of a city at a time of day when the crowds have withdrawn from public spaces and those letf behind are confronted by their solitude and loneliness. They become part of the landscape merging into it. The visibility of the film gram was Important from a formal aspect for me. Its significance in the context of the overall Image is a metaphor about the meaning of an individual inside a society and the relationship between humans and inanimate matter.
Silver-gelatine on celluloid ,2002
Mi Cielo means ‘my heaven“ in spanisn and Is a common term of endeament, equivalent to “my darling“. For this work I took a photograph or a television screen showig a sky. Since the photo is an extreme close-up, the screen grid became the dominant element of the image. The work is prompted by a reflection on the influence of mass media in determinig now their consumers view me world, as well as the queston of what happens when people‘s realily is replaced with a generic image of it The title plays with the paternalistc attitude of mass media towards their consumers.
Silver-gelatine on celluloid, 2001-2006
The series Words consists of photographs which were taken from the television screen during transmission of a program of political propaganda. They are close-ups of the faces of functionaries who participated. The idea was that their faces were captured in the process of communication and reproduced by grid pixels in a manner just as abstracted, fragmented and simpliﬁed as the content of their speech.
SERIES: CLOSED CAPTIONS
Silver-gelatine on celluloid, 2003
Closed Captions shows the faces of TV presenters from Cuban television programs for the deaf. As with all television programs in Cuba these are strongly ideological in nature. As in the series Words I exploit the composition of theTV image in order to emphasize the fragmentary and abstract nature of the transmitted content. On this occasion I added distortion of the TV signal, which serves as a metaphor for the ideologically misformed image of reality represented, as well as the distortion of meaning which occurs when content cannot be meaningfully decoded.
Silver-gelatine on paper, 2001
This photograph was the instigation for my work cycle on Traces. It shows the names and marks sprayed, written and scratched onto a wall‘ I am moved by the human need to proclaim one’s identity by leaving a name in a public place. I see it as a (perhaps unconscious) awareness of the transitoriness and irrelevance of ones own existence, and as proof of the need to transcend this condition and make Contact with one's fellow man.
SERIES: OTHER WORDS
3 images of 9, silver-gelatine on paper/ 32 slides in lightboxes, 2006
Other Words was conceived for the Havana Biennial in 2006, the theme of which was the urban environment. The work exhibited there consisted of 9 large format b|ack and white photographs and 32 light boxes holding 5x7 inches slides. The images pick up the leitmotif of Words II and are concerned with the human need to proclaim one's existence by marking one's name in public spaces, thereby leaving a record of one's existence. However this series focuses on the futility of such attempts in as much as most of the grafﬁti photographed is in the process of being erased by various external factors and the inexorable march of time.
12 images, silver-gelatine on paper, 2005
The series Vestiges is the third part of the work cycle on Traces. It consists of pictures of the wall tiles in my bathroom/darkroom. For many years I have been in the habit of sticking the photo proofs on the wall, with the result that the chemical salts have eaten into the tiles and together with cracks in the ti|es’glazing created abstract drawings. For me, these are the traces of my own constant effort to overcome the limitations of human existence through artistic endeavor.
The photographs Home II are the result ofan invitation to an exhibition with the theme At Home. Upon reﬂectionI realized that for me the feeling of being at home was in large measure based upon the sensations which I repeatedly experience within my four walls. These form a kind ofshield around me, and provide an emotional bedrock. For the exhibition I sought a visual correlative.Home II arose a couple of years later, more or less immediately after moving to a new house which needed extensive renovation. Rather than familiar memories and the feeling of security, it was at ﬁrst associated with many difficulties and the wish to create a real home. In the images of this series I sought to convey this emotional state.
SERIES: STUDIES FOR VESTIGES silver-gelatine on paper/c-prints, 2008-2011 Studies for Vestiges is also a continuation of the theme of Traces. This series consists of photographs of scraps of paper which accumulate during work in the darkroom. They are leftovers of discarded prints or proofs which by chance have come into contact with photochemicals. As they were never ﬁxed, they are in a continual process of change, and thereby became an inexhaustible fund of images in which forces and elements organize themselves in autonomous universes. Within these scraps of paper I discover landscapes which reﬂect my perception of the world in a constant ﬂux of energy.
SERIES: HOme c-prints, work in progress since 2012 In the series HOme, an internal portrait of myself is composed from the traces left by my interaction with the spaces where I live and works I started with the question of how to achieve a credible image of myself in this time of self-portraits (selﬁes) in which there are so many where the portrayed seem more to hide behind a mask of success and happiness rather than speak about themselves‘ I was looking for a visual translation to aspects of my identity, character and moods that do not come to light contemplating my external appearance.
SERIES: TEMPORARY REFUGES
archival pigmented prints, 2013-2016
The series consists of pictures ofthe remains of objects that have been thrown into the sea and swept back to land by the tides. They are for the most part animal and vegetable in nature, and are the leftovers of sacriﬁcial rituals practiced in Cuba by devotees of syncretic religions. These age-old rituals are enjoying increasing popularity on the island. In contrast to earlier times, they are now practiced by people of all social classes, even though many still belong to the poorer strata of society. Their main purpose is the fulﬁllment of wishes, and they are often seen as the only practicable means of improving one’s life. Frequently they have to do with material needs. The photos were taken at a small beach in a neighborhood of Havana. Like all accessible beaches of the city, it overﬂows with countless leftovers of such rituals on a daily basis. I regard these remnants of hope as a metaphor for the current state of my homeland. Despite the endlessly repeated ofﬁcial political stance, which preaches to the population that a utopia of equality, altruism and progress, has been achieved, and despite the hopes and sacriﬁces of generations, the perception of people at all levels of society is precisely the opposite. Sociopolitical means to satisfy individual and collective needs have failed, what remains is magic. In my work on this series, I was especially interested in the tensions between the desire of people to move forwards towards wellness and the beauty of life, and what is left behind when the realization of this yearning is built upon using other living beings. The images are a reﬂection on the fundamental tension between this desire for se|f-improvement and the question of what the individual is willing to do to achieve it, which I consider neither limited to a Caribbean island nor to an anthropological phenomenon.
SERIES: RESTE VON RESTEN (LEFTOVERS)
Archival inkjet-prints, 2017
The project is about discarded materials that have escaped the circulatory system of production and recycling, caught between dying and living a second life in a Berlin wasteland, whilst being absorbed by nature. I feel strange when observing how easily, without any attachment, objects are replaced in these societies. Although this moves the economy, there is something in the consumerist way of life that makes me feel uncomfortable: It is the feeling that if you treat anything like this, you will do so with everything else. It is not about rubbish, it is an attitude towards life. In Reste von Resten, I portray objects which have resisted our efficiency and non-poetic logic of existence, without space for the useless. In these miniature cultural landscapes, the useless is a dissident and generator of new values. The title of this piece was informed by one of the objects I discovered and portrayed in the wasteland, which is a pamphlet about the use of rubbish in art.