Carlos Garaicoa (born 1967) addresses the politics and ideologies of his native Cuba through an examination of its architecture. After the 1959 Cuban revolution, many architectural projects and buildings were left unfinished or abandoned in the nation's cities. Adopting Havana as his laboratory, Garaicoa creates provocative visual commentaries on such themes as architecture's ability to alter the course of history, the failure of modernism as a catalyst for social change and the frustration and decay of twentieth-century utopias. Garaicoa makes his critiques through large installations using materials such as crystal, wax candles and rice-paper lamps: in "Bend City" (2007), the artist constructed a city entirely from cut paper, and "The Crown Jewels" (2009) consists of miniature replicas of real-life torture centers, prisons and intelligence networks, all cast in silver. This publication includes new and recent works, and demonstrates the breadth of Garaicoa's witty articulations of architecture and urbanism.
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