• ART ROTTERDAM PROJECTIONS
  • 6 — 9 FEBRUARY 2014 
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FOUND CUBAN MOUNTS

 

In her 16mm film Found Cuban Mounts (2010) Adriana Arroyo presents a structural representation of memory. The film documents the artist’s trip from Havana to the Sierra Maestra and ends at the pier where in 1956 young revolutionaries arrived in Cuba. Arroyo embarks on the reverse route by which Fidel Castro came to power in 1959 and shows the post-revolutionary monuments and memorials that may be found along the route. In Arroyo’s film, the motif of the monument, which serves as a representative as well as a repository for ideologies, is methodically dismantled and is presented literally in fragments. With the demolition of the monuments that were often built for eternity, the film offers a different representation of the Communist revolution’s claim to power and the failure of its utopias.

The structure and rhythm of Arroyo’s film are based on excerpts from Fidel Castro’s famous four-hour-long speech History Will Absolve Me from 1953. Each letter of the speech corresponds to an individual filmic image; for each word, a different camera angle is used. In Arroyo's film, a forward movement is starkly slowed down and disassembled into its individual parts. The process of alienation disregards the content of Castro’s ideology and uses the tectonic structure of the monuments as an occasion to portray the process of construction as well as decline of the Cuban revolutionary movement.