8 photographs B/W and video animation of the personal objects of Felipe Vazquez, 2005/18
The installation San Felipe, dealing, like much of Yoel’s work, with the situation in Cuba, is a tribute to his blind grandfather. San Felipe is an intimate photographic installation bringing together a series of black and white photos of the artist’s grandfather, in dialogue with a museum display case showing digital animations of some of the personal objects that make up his memories.
Yoel Díaz Vázquez’s grandfather Felipe belongs to the generation born between 1920 and 1930 who fought for the Cuban revolution. This means that each of these objects, diplomas, medals, “vanguard” certificates, etc., is a testimony of a personal story bound up with the revolutionary process. The reference to his grandfather as a holy man is obvious, not just in his first name, recalling San Felipe Neri, but also the moving story shown in this projection.
The photographic series is made up of eight photos documenting Felipe’s interaction and participation in front of the camera, in relation to two objects suggested by the artist.
Meanwhile, a close-up shows an eighty-year-old man with a crippled hip, due to a work accident after his retirement, almost blind and totally dependent on his daughters and grandchildren. He would persist obsessively in his ideal until his dying day. His attitude in front of the camera is one of pride, though also of deep introspection or obstinacy.
Diplomas, medals, prizes awarded to the old man by various Cuban political organisations over 46 years of revolution, spectacles, cigarette case, all digitalized to form part of the interactive display, in which the spectator can touch the screen to obtain information about the selected object.
The installation is like an altar, the old man as a martyr – blind and acclaimed in his old age – whose only point of reference today is a dream of past grandeur and devotion to the idea of a revolution. One of the questions he most often asked was: “My friend, when are we going to improve?” Sandra Sosa
Video animation of the personal objects of Felipe Vazquez, 2005 – 2018
San Felipe. Photo Installation with 8 photographs B/W 2005