Diango Hernández

Diango Hernández, Homesick, 2010. Photograph by Thierry Bal

Diango Hernández, Homesick, 2010. Photograph by Thierry Bal

Productive in a diversity of media, including sculpture, installation, music and drawing, the practice of Diango Hernández (b.1970, Cuba) is grounded in the desire to capture ephemeral moments of beauty, seduction and conviction. The artist grew up and studied in Havana before moving to Europe, and his work is inspired by his recollection of Cuba’s political and economic crisis in the wake of the collapse of the socialist systems in Eastern Europe.

Following these events, his work began to subtly comment on circumstances, places and opinions related to political ideologies, propaganda and utopian beliefs. In counterpoint to this, life in Havana, with ‘the unbelievable blend of races, smells, styles, sounds and fears’ experienced by Hernández, continues to inform and resonate throughout his artistic practice.

Hernández once stated that ‘the first chair we have ever touched may contain all the possible happiness in the universe’. In his works Hernández explores ideas of the quotidian, and everyday objects are imbued with symbolic value and transformative potential. His multipart commission for Touched focused on the notion of ‘home’ and the sickness we experience in its absence. In the gallery the audience encountered physical structures and patterns made out of dispersed and deconstructed furniture elements, solitary objects rotated on stages as if touched by a ghostly hand, theatre curtains and a suspended stairway, all of which apparently connected in a dreamlike and surreal setting. As opposed to a mere mimetic representation, Hernández’s work constituted an exploration into the psyche of what we regard as home. He invited the viewer to travel to an imaginative realm to discover a miraculous scene that was informed and heightened by memory and personal history.

The installation was accompanied by a new series of small collages entitled My postcards never get home, presented as postcard fragments mounted on photosensitive paper whose colour changed in response to light levels within the space. 
Ultimately, Diango Hernández’s work explores ideas of memory and changeability to reflect on the unavailing longing to retain a sense of permanence and stability.

Diango Hernández at Liverpool Biennial 2010

Homesick, 2010
Mixed media installation
Commissioned by and exhibited at Tate Liverpool 

Supported by

Institut fur Auslandsbeziehungen e. V.