Here is another tiny piece of my past for you. In this picture you can see my hair and I in my studio in Havana. These group of small photos that I arranged together as a montage were taken in 1998 by a young photographer friend of mine. He used black and white film and he developed them with his own hands. I am so glad that I found them so you can see more or less how my world looked like back then. By this time my career was starting to take off and I had a more solid connection with some galleries in Havana and out of Cuba so I worked in my art day and night, that's all I did.
I adored this studio (which was one of the two bedrooms that I had in my apartment) and as dark as it looks I always kept it clean and organized. I look at all the objects in it and I see so much; every single thing in that room has some story behind. The dress that I am wearing for example was made by myself out of some old cotton sheet. The chair where I am sitting on and the one in front of me were part of a set of six that I bought from a lady who lived close by and they were kind of dynamic because the joints were ready to fall apart. The head behind me is a wooden sculpture that I bought from some man on the street. Now between the two tables and close to the wooden head you can see the biggest luxury that I ever had in Cuba: AN AIR CONDITIONING MACHINE!!! It made a funny noise which is impossible to see in the picture as well as the noise from my neighbor’s apartment who had hundreds of birds (the ones that sing all day long) on top of that add some radio playing Cuban Music and now the picture is complete! I also had a wonderful balcony with lots of plants that I watered every morning. And I loved my neighbors! One of my favorite ones was this old actress who was a celebrity in Cuba before the revolution. Her apartment was full of black and white photographs from when she was famous, she was really beautiful. And there was also her very old husband who was always flirting with the young ladies in the building. He was so funny!
What I am making with my hands in this picture is an installation called: Impermanent. The piece was basically a group one hundred black dolls that had roots instead of heads and they were displayed on the wall upside down like little trees. Down here you can see a drawing based on that installation. With these dolls-trees I was talking about how memories (like plants) grow roots in our minds that keep us alive and make us be what we are. Now many years later I am even more sure about this idea. I realize that I am an accumulations of memories and without them I don’t fully exist. I was reading about amnesia the other day and about how people suffering from this condition struggle trying to make sense of who they are. I am lucky that I have a good memory and that I can remember all the details from my past. I wil never take my memory for granted, that's why I try to make use of it as often as possible.