Apertura: Photography in Cuba Today - Page 18

Figure 2. Carlos Garaicoa (Cuban, b. 1967), Noticias recientes (Brasil)/ Recent News (Brazil), detail, 2008 12 The massive construction of the building, and its rundown condition, speak of agglomeration and the failures of modernity. This, at least, is how the installation appears at first glance. Upon closer inspection, however, we can see a series of bullet holes (figure 2). The diptych, laminated in Plexiglas and shot with a 9mm pistol, is about a wound. Noticias recientes (Brasil)/Recent News (Brazil) was made while Garaicoa was an artist in residence in Rio de Janeiro and is a response to his sense of vulnerability, to the fear of being killed by a stray bullet. The work is about the fragility of modern life, particularly in large cities characterized by uneven development. What matters most, however, is that Garaicoa’s Noticias recientes invites a metaphorical interpretation. The “recent news” to which the title refers might also point to the fact that photographic representation itself seems to be broken, wounded. In contrast to the Angolan images, the wounds in Noticias recientes are not the representation of bullet marks in a building. Rather, the photograph itself has been hurt. Noticias recientes can thus be interpreted as a statement about photography in its current state. Vulnerability is now seen at the level of the representation, of what photography does, and how it speaks. In light of technological and philosophical changes, photography has become more vulnerable as a medium. Photography has stopped being what it was supposed to be. Photography as we know it is now dead. What Garaicoa’s Noticias recientes makes visible at any rate is that photography is now at some level mourning itself as a system of representation. Photography has changed identities. Less inclined to suggest a story or showcase an object in an aesthetic light, a photograph is now a fragment whose meaning exists only in a string of other objects,