…a borderless reality
like gardens of the eternal…
Lunds konsthall and Skissernas Museum
4 October 2019 – 2 February 2020
This is the first time in more than twenty years that Skissernas Museum and Lunds konsthall collaborate on an exhibition. Both institutions simultaneously show works by the prominent artist Carlos Garaicoa (born in Havana in 1967). This is the first substantial presentation of Garaicoa’s practice in Sweden. The collaboration between two exhibition venues allows us to offer different perspectives on Garaicoa’s work, which often centres on the city and public space.
In his practice, Garaicoa investigates how the city and its architecture reflects and influences society. Today he lives in Madrid, but he keeps returning to his home town, Havana in Cuba, where he is still active and maintains a studio.
Havana’s unfinished and abandoned construction projects, and the lost dreams they represent, is a starting point for his meditations on how all utopias fail. In Havana decayed buildings from the colonial era and the early twentieth century coexist with the many truncated projects of the Cuban Revolution. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Cuba became isolated and was hit by serious economic crisis, which made most construction work impossible.
To Garaicoa, such urban ruins symbolised setbacks for the regime and the death of revolutionary utopia. Beyond the Cuban context his practice visualises the dark side of all utopias and constitute a critique of Modernism and the ideological societal projects of the twentieth century.
Garaicoa’s first artistic project consisted of anonymous interventions in the city, commenting and questioning the changes it was undergoing. He gradually shifted to using photography and drawing, and soon also sculpture, video and architecture, for his still ongoing investigation of the city as a political and economic landscape.
Much like the professionals who shape our public space, Garaicoa places sketching and modelling at the core of his artistic practice. Carlos Garaicoa’s work reminds us of how significant our surroundings, and especially architecture and urban planning, are for our understanding of who we are and how others see us.