Guerra de la paz /U.S./Cuba/
The quarters that will house our installation, Manto, has been designed to create an environment that embodies the spirit moving into physical form, merging the spiritual and material realms. From prehistory to contemporary times humans have constructed domed dwellings from whatever materials are available within their immediate surroundings. Inspired by architecture, our interior space is lined with garments of white and silver. At its apex the garments are tightly arranged creating a mélange of clothing where individual items meld, becoming part of a whole. As this unpigmented melody cascades towards the earth the concave illusion becomes a dome, architectures universal expression of heaven. An ethereal, magical sense of space will be witnessed by its viewers as they look upward at a vision of the celestial. We perceive the installation as a view from within a white cloud, home to an entity of spiritual purity and light. A performer will be centered within the installation. It‘s convex presence rises from the floor and slowly moves in a circular motion symbolic of regeneration and the cyclical patterns of life. The performer symbolizes Obatala, the Yoruba Orisha who is attributed with the creation of mankind and earth as we know it. He is the oldest of all the Orishas and father to them all. He is the ruler of the white cloth and is known as the “white deity”. He throws his white mantle over his children to protect them from all evil. Obatala is associated with honesty, purpose, purity, peace the New Year, forgiveness, and resurrection. He rules on thoughts and dreams and seeks justice. Obatala is the patron saint of artists and is called the Divine Sculptor and the Father of Laughter.
Bio: Guerra de la Paz is the composite name that represents the creative team efforts of Cuban born artists, Alain Guerra and Neraldo de la Paz – who live and work in Miami, Florida – and have been consistently producing collaboratively since 1996. Our work is based on a combination of traditional disciplines and experimentation with dimension and the use of unconventional materials. It is inspired by an essential familiarity with the ready-made and the archeological qualities that found objects posses. Encapsulating an energy that reveals underlying meanings and depicts the significance of mass-produced refuse on our society. Our close proximity to the Pepe businesses that once thrived in Little Haiti has been a major source of inspiration. Gaining access to an overabundance of discarded clothing - relics that once helped define an individual’s personality and communally speak of environmental issues, mass consumption, and disposability – opened the doors for us to working with garments as a material. We often see ourselves as vehicles guided by their essence and silent histories.