Galleria Continua presents a new solo exhibition by Carlos Garaicoa: Sin Solución, in its San Gimignano gallery.
Carlos Garaicoa belongs to a generation of internationally established Cuban artists. His multi-faceted practice and provocative works encompass sculpture, photography, drawing, video, installations and urban interventions. Taking his home city as a source of inspiration and as a laboratory, Garaicoa develops a model in which Havana is a metaphor not only of human nature, but also of the failure of 20th-century ideologies. The concept of utopia lies at the centre of his work: the contrast between utopia and reality has given rise to a series of ‘project’ works in which the investigative model extends out from Havana to take in other cities. Indeed, the city offers unlimited possibilities of representation, it is the place where imagination acquires form. For Garaicoa, artistic practice is both a tool and a language for engaging with the public and the private city.
Sin Solución comprises a series of works created especially for the show, plus other pieces produced over the last year, in which the artist explores the importance of architecture as a way of deconstructing the complexity of the socio-political and historic narrative of a city. The stalls area of the former cinema-theatre is occupied by “Fin de Silencio”, a large installation which takes the urban reality of old Havana as a point of departure for developing a narrative charged with thoughts, forgotten places and spaces of the imagination. Presented for the first time in 2010 as part of a solo show of the same name in the former abattoir of Madrid, and then, the following year, in the show Penelope’s Labour at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice, the installation consists of seven tapestries reproducing the street paving of a shopping area of Havana. Garaicoa uses the names of shops embedded in the marble grit of pavements to create new slogans. La Lucha, El Pensamiento, Sin rival, Reina (“the struggle”, “the thought”, “without rival”, “queen”) are transformed, in his tapestries, into poetic, critical or nostalgic micro-narratives such as La lucha es de todos and Reina destruye o redime (“the struggle is for everyone”, “queen destroys or redeems”).