"Hip Hop Forever"

[ 8 August 2016 - Monday ] 

One of my favorites - those colors together!  So many people are unintentional artists.

An old sign from the 50s - I used it a lot as a landmark to navigate around Habana Veija.  I'll be honest, as I passed underneath it I always quickened my pace...

Green moat of the Castillo de la Real Fuerza

"Hip Hop Forever - Under Ground" seen outside the Bacardí Building

I think I've posted a photo of this building before but the newness and freshness of the renovation work seems absurd and caricature-like.

Woooo, I found another wifi spot!  And this one doesn't have a starving dog laying nearby.

The tone of this street art was unlike any of the others that I had seen thus far.

Stoop sittin' - a universally favorited pastime.

Stoop sittin' - a universally favorited pastime.

A young boy caught me taking this photo - well taking and re-taking - and I think he was perplexed. (:

Stages of renovation / preservation.

Perpetuating the superficial identity of Havana - but golly it was so perfectly photogenic.

Walking Along the Malecón

[ 6 August 2016 - Saturday...later in the day ]

Western View

Look up...

...look down.

Does this say Fuck Fidel??  I seriously can't tell.  Also confounding to me is the México y Cuba 2016 tag.  (Baseball?  Fútbol?)

Edge of Centro

Parque Antonio Maceo / Monumento a Antonio Maceo

Cities Built By Everybody

Another mini-thought for the day.  As part of my work here I plan on drawing/creating three images that speculate.  What I need to figure out is what exactly they are going to speculate on Havana's possible futures.  Except that's all I can tell you right now.  I have a couple things figured out though.  One of the three will be relating Detroit and Havana because I find the similarities striking with one large difference...  But the other two drawings will be focused on Havana only.  They need to be spatial, they need to somewhat gather up the information from the rest of the exhibition, and they need to be done in an aesthetic that hasn't already been seen a hundred times.  I've been thinking about how to combine an external image-identity of Havana (based more on the individual) with the internal image-identity (which is based more on a group identity).  This Jane Jacobs quote seemed fitting.  A little idealistic...? but something worth thinking about.

The Commanding and Emancipating Image

From: The Embodied Image: Imagination and Imagery in Architecture by Juhani Pallasmaa 

"Images are deployed for countless purposes, but there are two opposite types of images in relation to the individual freedom of the subject: images that dictate, manipulate and condition, and others that emancipate, empower and inspire.  The first type is exemplified by images devised for political and consumer conditioning, the second by emancipatory poetic and artistic images.  The first category narrows down, confines and weakens the freedom, choice and individuality of the subject by means of focusing and channeling his/her attention and awareness into a forced pattern, often grounded in the subject’s sense of guilt and inferiority.  The latter category of images opens up, fortifies and liberates by means of strengthening personal imagination, emotion and affect.  The first category of images weakens us and makes us more certain of ourselves and dependent on authority, whereas poetic imagery reinforces our sense of self, autonomy and individual independence.  The poetic images are images of individual integrity and freedom."  [ pp. 021 ]

These two types of images are almost entirely what I have seen in Havana so far and it makes sense that they would be on the extreme ends of the spectrum.  

Below are the images used in the book as examples of the Commanding Image (left) and the Emancipating Image (right).

Examples of the Commanding and Emancipating Image in Juhani Pallasmaa's The Embodied Image: Imagination and Imagery in Architecture

And just a few examples of what I found in Havana...  


The Commanding Image

Hanging in a business

At the Museo de la Revolución

And my personal favorite...although there were actually so many of these types of photos at the Museo de la Revolución that it was hard to choose a favorite.

FIdel Castro, José Martí, and twin toddlers.  BAM!


The Emancipating Image

"Hip Hop Forever" on a petrol  tank outside the Bacardi building.

A gallery off the Plaza Vieja

A photograph I purchased at the Obispo Street Market, it's probably one of my favorite "souvenirs" from Havana.  Along with the photo of El Dandy....more to follow on that! (:

Art being made and sold on a Saturday morning on the Prado.