Cuba/ History Rewritten

cuba/ history rewritten

In February 2001 I spent three weeks in Cuba traveling from one end of the island to the other, taking dozens of rolls of photographs and keeping a visual journal. Shortly after I arrived, I found a history of Cuba published in Havana in 1925. I began to focus on the differing perspectives authors bring to their accounts and how time and political persuasion affect, counteract and obliterate viewpoints. The pages from this and other books and periodicals became the primary components in my journal; a palimpsest, written, drawn, erased, crossed out and reworked repeatedly with remnants of erasures still visible.

When I returned to my studio, instead of incorporating the journal pages with photographs as I have done in the past, I scanned and began printing the journal pages on a wide range of materials. Often I printed on sheer papers and layered them physically so that they became translucent book pages.

As I was working, I had an opportunity to use the Encad 880 printer, which prints 60” eight color (octachrome) on surfaces up to 1/2’ in depth including birch bark, corrugated cardboard, wood and cork. This printer enabled me to use substrates I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to consider and to capture the abraded, worn, tattered, gritty and patined surfaces so much a part of my experience in Cuba and so appropriate for this series.

The one-of-a-kind mixed media pieces are 12” x 24” diptychs (12”x12” each page). They are all ink jet prints combined with traditional art materials.