En El Monte by Alejandro Piñeiro Bello, Jose Capaz, and FABELOHUNG (Roberto Fabelo Hung). An immersive environment consisting of an installation of metal flagpoles and ten virtual reality works filmed in New York, Havana, and Key West, the exhibition focuses on and around Havana’s Tribuna Antimperialista (Anti-Imperialist Tribune).
‘Tribuna Antimperialista was the site of a long-term propaganda battle in the late 1990s between the Cuban government and the United States Interests Section, Havana (USINT). In 2006, the United States installed a five-feet high ticker tape display across the top floor of the building which broadcast messages and quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. and other cultural figures such as the comedian George Burns, who once remarked: “How sad that all the people who would know how to run this country are driving taxis or cutting hair.” The Cuban government responded by erecting the monument Monte de las Banderas, or Wall of Flags, out of one hundred fifty flags to commemorate “victims of US aggression” and to partially block the ticker. At Pioneer Works, En El Monte evokes this square with an installation of flagpoles, onto which virtual reality headsets are attached.’
Through the works in this show, the trio explore post-revolutionary Cuban life in the wake of isolationism, propaganda campaigns, and economic hardship, alongside the artists’ personal experience with the complex relationship between Cuba and its closest imperial neighbour, the United States.