Solo shows. On the altars of vanity

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On the Altars of Vanity

Curated by Grethell Rasúa

Bipersonal show    

Harold Garcia V and Grethell Rasúa
Dotfiftyone Gallery / Miami, US

From March 29– May 31, 2019 

Opening March 29, 7pm

Photography by Zachary Balber

On the Altars of Vanity is a curatorial project created by artists Grethell Rasúa and Harold García V. which they have been working on for the last three years. The exhibition focuses on a dialogue between the capitalist and communist system, from the artists’ life experience in both systems.

The exhibition consists of three video installations, which discuss the construction of the social habitat of Florida and Havana exploring the euphoria of vanity in both contexts, and how the political and economic factors are the meters of the aesthetic elements that characterize them. They work with the natural and urban landscape, they derive it from the dichotomy of “paradise” and disaster; they focus on the contradictions of their environments, generated by the contrasts of their beauties and decadence, as well as by the “construction” and accelerated destruction of their landscapes by the hand of man in search of personal embellishment, which becomes collective at the expense of death.

In the case of García V., in the work “On the Altars of Vanity”, 2017-2019, he alerts us of the possible second extinction of exotic birds, due to the irresponsible management of their habitat [the natural landscape of Florida, The Everglades]. García V. comments on one of the many aspects that have violated this great wetland, he focuses on the misappropriation of its waters for the construction of artificial lakes on private properties. Meanwhile, we are a century away from the almost first extinction [late 19th century, early 20th century], when the social status of women was legitimized by the quantity and quality of feathers that embellished their hats.

Rasúa, presents the work “Cubiertas de Deseos” (Covers of Desires), 2008-2019. This project began in 2008 in Havana, when it was illegal for “owners” of private homes to legally sell their properties. Great part of the population has been destined to live in buildings that, although beautiful by their architectonic styles, at present are in ruins and their inhabitants resort to the option of embellishing their “property” with any color that they can obtain.

“The Third Bullet”, 2016-2019, created by García V., is the piece that concludes the museum-graphic tour of the exhibit. It shows us two points of view related to issues related to capitalism, neoliberalism and communism, from a dialogue between the artist and an Austrian citizen who trusts communism as a possible solution to the problems of her country. García V., from his Cuban experience, suggests a third path, metaphorically speaking a third bullet that has not yet shot and could be the real solution for all.

Text by Giacomo Zaza