Art salvos : aesthetics of figurative acts of war between the US and Cuba along Havana's Malecón
Author(s)Genes, Laura Serejo
Aesthetics of figurative acts of war between the US and Cuba along Havana's Malecón
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
MetadataShow full item record
Laura Serejo Genes spent her last year in the Art Culture and Technology Program at MIT obsessively researching the works of an American Foreign Service Agent working in the highest office of the United States Interest Section in Cuba from 2002-2005. This character, Chief of Mission James C. Cason, spearheaded many public diplomacy projects in Havana, the magnum opus of which was a huge LED electronic ticker on the facade of the U.S. Embassy Building. The ticker immediately calls to mind the work of artist Jenny Holzer. Laura traveled down to Florida to ask the retired diplomat if he had ever heard of Jenny Holzer. He had not. But in her conversations with him, and with Tomás Vicente Lara Franquis, the incredible Director of the Monuments Commission in Cuba [CODEMA], Laura started to think about political leaders like James C. Cason and his adversary, Fidel Castro, who inadvertently or not, personally authored public projects so large and stimulating that they should be considered public works of art. She puts forth the original term: art salvo, to describe precisely this type of intervention: a figurative act of war. Fascinated by this particular situation in Cuba in the early 2000's, Laura outlines the power of what she is calling: the agency of discretion. Politics are everywhere and discretion operates at many scales, but discretion is most discernible when considering the amount of it apportioned to leaders. Perhaps, she concludes: this form of political agency can be and is a fertile ground for art production? However satisfying it may be to reach this conclusion, sometimes the terrifying nature of the result outweighs the satisfaction of having arrived at it.
Thesis: S.M. in Art, Culture and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Architecture, 2018.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 65-70).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology