South Florida Latin American Photography Forum, Miami, USA – Havana, Cuba
August 1, 2020 – October 27, 2020
The countryside areas of Cuba, the wall of the boardwalk, the sugar harvest; portraits of wealthy men and women, vintage cars, iconic characters, the people in their massiveness, women in contrasting settings, the guano hat, the military uniform, diverse settings of Cuban geography and other regions, constitute some of the micro-stories that are collected in Ricardo Miguel’s photocollages: When the memory turns to dust (2018-2020).
The artist accumulates old photographs, dated between the twenties and eighties of the last century; he classifies them by themes, formats and possibilities of representation. Each cut or addition constitutes a micro-document—when paired with another part of a different file—that becomes a totally new aesthetic statement, full of readings and conceptual derivations as diverse as the possible joint connections that the artist intends to achieve during the working process.
From the language of photography, Ricardo Miguel becomes an autocrat who chooses at his whim already disposable fragments of almost forgotten realities, to show that this is elastic, that it is re-constructed beyond the literal limits. These works are a resurrected testament of a society —mainly the Cuban one— that rejoices in nostalgia, in worn out social narratological paradigms, in the entelechy of an uncertain present and a blurred future. These photo-collages —in their performative technical and conceptual fabrication—become a polysemic metaphor of an ontology that starts from the personal to encompass the collectivity of social memory.
—Text and curatorship Yenny Hernández Valdés