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slanteD

Editorial

�21

TypograPHY & graPHIC design

SPRING / SUMMER 2013 – ISSN 1867–6510 DE € 14 / CH CHF 25 / UK £ 16 / US $ 26 / Others € 16

cuban poster art, photography, illustration, typograPhy, interviews and essays

CUBA

THE NEW GENERATION

¿Revolución o evolución? ¿Caída o alzamiento? ¿Burdel o paraíso? ¿Cola o guarapo? ¿Marlboro o Cohiba? ¿Frijoles o langosta? ¿Libertad o Guantánamo? ¿Chándal o corbata? ¿Internet o paloma mensajera? ¿Salsa o rap? ¿Oldtimer o Turbo? ¿Museo o laboratorio del futuro? ¿Trabajo o no? ¿Esperanza o exilio? ¿O una combinación de todas estas preguntas? Es diferente de lo que pen-­ samos - mucho más complicado, profundo, lleno de giros y vueltas. La plantilla no encaja. Cuanto más nos acercamos a la isla, más se revela los contornos. Cuanto más nos adentramos en las calles de La Habana, sus talleres en patios traseros y sus casas, conocer a su gente, hablar, leer, ver películas, tomar fotos y observar carteles ... más claro se hace: Cuba es difusa. Muchas obras de cultura cubana revelan nuestra hibridez social y cultural y el pluralismo – a pesar de las apa­riencias políticas. Como curadora Sachie Hernández dice, el arte cubano actual trata sobre “nuestro populismo implícito, la falta de jerarquías en muchos valores y principios relacionados con la Revolución, la unidad, la patria y lo cubano, nuestra convivencia natural con diversas épocas y lugares, nuestro apetito por tantas cosas extranjeras, nuestra conciencia periférica, pero también nuestro orgullo y nuestra capacidad para coquetear y cautivar los centros del poder de vez en cuando.” Por lo tanto, advertimos de inmediato: esta vigésimo primera edición de Slanted reluce arte cubano y cuenta con el prometedor título “The New Generation (La nueva generación)”. El foco se dirige a deslumbrantes artistas llenos de esperanza por una nueva Cuba. Artwork de portada: MALECÓN

www.slanted.de

T HE NEW GENER AT ION

The Malecón is a broad esplanade, roadway and seawall to protect Havana from the water and the so-called Nortes, but in reality, it wound up serving more for nighttime promenades by Habañeros and lovers. It also faces Florida - just 90 miles north. The majority of the nearly 1 million current Cuban exiles in the United States live in or around Miami. Eduardo Sarmiento is one of them. He created the cover artwork of this issue in 2002 in Havana and printed it (silkscreen 50 × 70 cm) in 2012 in St. Louis. For him it is a political / social / personal statement: “When I made the poster I thought 100 % about the idea of a paper ship leaving the island. Now I see it both ways, the ship that leaves and the ship that goes back to the island. The Nation is not complete. Families are not complete. There is fragmentation everywhere. We had to cut the star to make a ship and then get to know the world. It is not any part of the flag, it is the star that means the purity of ideals.”

CUBA

Artwork cover: MALECÓN

slanted 21 –– TYPOGRAphy & GRAphic DESIGN

Revolution or evolution? Fall or rise? Whorehouse or paradise? Cola or guarapo? Marlboro or Cohiba? Beans or lobster? Freedom or Guantanamo? Track suit or tie? Internet or carrier pigeon? Salsa or rap? Old-timer or Turbo? Museum or future-lab? Work or none? Hope or exile? Or a mix of all of these queries? It’s different than we think – much more complicated, deep and full of twists and turns. The template will not fit. The closer we approach the island, the more contours it reveals. The deeper we go into the streets of Havana, backyard workshops and homes, meet people, talk, read, watch movies, take in photos and study posters … the clearer it becomes: Cuba is elusive. Many Cuban art works reveal our social and cultural hybridity and pluralism – despite political appearances. As curator Sachie Hernández says, Cuban art today is about “our inclusive populism, lack of hierarchies in many values and postulates related to the Revolution, the unity, the mother home and the Cuban; our natural cohabitation with different times and spaces; our appetite for many things that comes from abroad; our peripheral consciouness, but also our pride and ability to flirt with and charm the centers of power every now and then.” Therefore, straight away – the warning: this twenty-first edition of Slanted illuminates Cuban art and has the promising title “The New Generation.” The light is directed to dazzling artists of hope for a new Cuba.

Editorial

CARTEL DE arte cubano, FOTOGRAFÍA, Ilustración, tipografía, Entrevistas y ensayos

El Malecón es una extenso paseo marítimo, una avenida y un dique para proteger a La Habana del agua y de los llamados Nortes, pero en realidad termina sirviendo más para paseos nocturnos por habaneros y amantes. Queda frente a Florida – solo 90 millas al norte. La mayoría de los casi 1 millón de exiliados cubanos en EE.UU viven alrededor de Miami. Eduardo Sarmiento es uno de ellos. Creó el diseño de la portada de este número en La Habana, en 2002, y realizó la impresión (serigrafía 50 × 70 cm) en St. Louis, 2012. Para él es declaración política / social / personal: “Cuando hice el cartel estuve pensando al 100 % en la idea de un barco de papel que abandona la isla. Ahora lo veo de ambas maneras, el barco que abandona y el barco que regresa a la isla. La nación está incompleta. Las familias están incompletas. Hay fragmentos por todas partes. Tuvimos que cortar la estrella para hacer un barco y conocer el Mundo. No es cualquier parte de la bandera, es la estrella, que representa la pureza de los ideales.”


Editorial

¿Revolución o evolución? ¿Caída o alzamiento? ¿Burdel o paraíso? ¿Cola o guarapo? ¿Marlboro o Cohiba? ¿Frijoles o langosta? ¿Libertad o Guantánamo? ¿Chándal o corbata? ¿Internet o paloma mensajera? ¿Salsa o rap? ¿Oldtimer o Turbo? ¿Museo o laboratorio del futuro? ¿Trabajo o no? ¿Esperanza o exilio? ¿O una combinación de todas estas preguntas? Es diferente de lo que pen-­ samos - mucho más complicado, profundo, lleno de giros y vueltas. La plantilla no encaja. Cuanto más nos acercamos a la isla, más se revela los contornos. Cuanto más nos adentramos en las calles de La Habana, sus talleres en patios traseros y sus casas, conocer a su gente, hablar, leer, ver películas, tomar fotos y observar carteles ... más claro se hace: Cuba es difusa. Muchas obras de cultura cubana revelan nuestra hibridez social y cultural y el pluralismo – a pesar de las apa­riencias políticas. Como curadora Sachie Hernández dice, el arte cubano actual trata sobre “nuestro populismo implícito, la falta de jerarquías en muchos valores y principios relacionados con la Revolución, la unidad, la patria y lo cubano, nuestra convivencia natural con diversas épocas y lugares, nuestro apetito por tantas cosas extranjeras, nuestra conciencia periférica, pero también nuestro orgullo y nuestra capacidad para coquetear y cautivar los centros del poder de vez en cuando.” Por lo tanto, advertimos de inmediato: esta vigésimo primera edición de Slanted reluce arte cubano y cuenta con el prometedor título “The New Generation (La nueva generación)”. El foco se dirige a deslumbrantes artistas llenos de esperanza por una nueva Cuba. Artwork de portada: MALECÓN El Malecón es una extenso paseo marítimo, una avenida y un dique para proteger a La Habana del agua y de los llamados Nortes, pero en realidad termina sirviendo más para paseos nocturnos por habaneros y amantes. Queda frente a Florida – solo 90 millas al norte. La mayoría de los casi 1 millón de exiliados cubanos en EE.UU viven alrededor de Miami. Eduardo Sarmiento es uno de ellos. Creó el diseño de la portada de este número en La Habana, en 2002, y realizó la impresión (serigrafía 50 × 70 cm) en St. Louis, 2012. Para él es declaración política / social / personal: “Cuando hice el cartel estuve pensando al 100 % en la idea de un barco de papel que abandona la isla. Ahora lo veo de ambas maneras, el barco que abandona y el barco que regresa a la isla. La nación está incompleta. Las familias están incompletas. Hay fragmentos por todas partes. Tuvimos que cortar la estrella para hacer un barco y conocer el Mundo. No es cualquier parte de la Eduardo Marín and Eduardo Moltó bandera, Pasaporte, 2009 es la estrella, que representa la pureza de los ideales.”


slanteD tipografía y diseño gráficO

CARTEL De arte cubano, FOTOGRAFÍA, Ilustración, tipografía, Entrevistas y ensayos

CUBA

NUEVA GENERACIÓN

cuban poster art, photography, illustration, typography, interviews and essays


PHOTOGRAPHY AM – PM Alejandro GonzáleZ P 4–11

Ciudad Habana – Futuro Alejandro GonzáleZ P 74–79

Cuba Crisis Ken Johnston / Corbis P 208–220

A Base de Viandas Arien Chang CastÁn P 12–16

With history’s permission José Toirac P 82 / 83

Rincon Arien Chang CastÁn P 221–227

Cuba Año Cero Alejandro GonzáleZ P 18–24

If The Light Goes Out Edmund Clark P 176–179, 182, 183

Farmers Michel Pou Díaz P 25–27, 29, 30, 33, 34, 36 / 37

Street Typography Andrea Tinnes & Ian Lynam P 187–191, 194–196

TYPOGRAPHY Jeroglificos, Dessau Javier Fuentes P 208, 213, 218

Marquer set, Jack Daniels Custom Fonts, Pintor Carlos SegurA P 211, 212, 215

Diablitos, Cuba, Vitrina Medina Gothic, Marquee PABLO A. MEDINA P 210, 213, 214, 219

Novel Powell, Mica, Malleable Grotesque Juan carlos Pagan P 213, 219

Bufon, Privilegio-Suceso Daniel Díaz Milán P 216, 220

ILLUSTRATION Blurred Tonel P 57, 61, 62

Diverse Eduardo Sarmiento P 167, 169, 170

Heads Edel Rodríguez P 172–175

Essays Chico & Rita – A film by Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal Wolfgang Wick P 47–49 Happiness Frank Wiedemann P 51 Malecón Buena Vista Wolfgang Wick P 52 / 53 Havana Today, Havana Cultura Randall Koral P 66–73

Slanted #21 – Content

Necessary Things Ernesto Oroza P 80 / 81 Posters as Bridges Carlos Zamora P 88 Design on an Island Pedro Contreras Suárez P 89–97 Give Guantanamo Back to Cuba Jonathan M. Hansen P 180 / 181

Equal among equals – The Emporer’s New Clothes Michael Schmidt P 184–186 The Human Memory Machine Ian Lynam P 192 / 193 Cuba, mi amor Anna Berkenbusch P 228 / 229

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POSTERS KUBA 74 Ingo Graf, Mzin P 17, 28, 31, 32, 35, 38–41

Cuban Poster Art Natalie Seisser, Giselle Monzón Calero, Pepe Menéndez P 98–156

INTERVIEWS Jazz is Freedom, Marching Music is Dictatorship Ingo Graf P 42–46

Cuban Poster Art – The New Generation SARA VEGA MICHE, Nelson Ponce Sánchez, Raúl Valdés González, Michele Miyares Hollands, Giselle Monzón Calero, Roberto Ramos Mori (Robertiko), Edel Rodríguez (Mola), Pepe Menéndez P 84–87

The “Bande Dessinée” Tradition Javier Mariscal P 50 Rapper do not laugh! MARIO MC P 52 / 53

Through my art I am able to exist way longer as I actually live Eduardo Sarmiento P 167–171

Cuban art has in all its sections a long tradition of social commitment Sachie HernÁndez Machín P 56–60, 63–65

I believe we need to go a long way before we establish at a typographic scene in Cuba Daniel Díaz Milán P 197–200 For me, its not so much my origin, but more my curiosity Carlos Segura P 200–203

I can’t deny the influence of lettering Pablo A. Medina P 203–205 Messages are as subtle as intense Claudio Sotolongo P 205–207 I feel like a German-Cuban cocktail Jorge GonzÁleZ P 230 / 231 I can travel to all countries of the world, but, unfortunately, not to Cuba Yoan Pablo Hernández P 232 / 233 10 × 10 Andrew Lewis, Anette Lenz, Götz Gramlich,Gunter Rambow, Harmen Liemburg, Jeff Kleinsmith, Kiko Farkas, Niklaus Troxler, Takashi Akiyama, Yossi Lemel P 236–247

APPENDIX Index P 280–286

Translations P 248–279

Imprint P 287, 288

additional interactive content

QR code

PLAY-sign

Slanted #21 – Content

1. Install Junaio App for free on your smart phone 2. Start the Junaio App 3. Scan the QR code to join the Slanted channel 4. Every magazine page containing the PLAY-sign links to additional content 5. Enjoy extra content by moving smart phone

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A M PM Slanted #21 – Photography

Alejandro GonzáleZ � P 280

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Alejandro GonzáleZ � P 280

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Alejandro GonzáleZ � P 280

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Alejandro GonzáleZ � P 280

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Arien Chang Castán � P 280

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KUBA 74 � P 280

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Alejandro González

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cuba año cero


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Alejandro GonzáleZ � P 280

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Slanted #21 – Photography

Alejandro GonzáleZ � P 280

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MICHEL POU

DÍAZ

FARMERS Slanted #21 – Photography

Michael Pou DÍaz � P 280

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Slanted #21 – Posters

Kuba 74 � P 280

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Michel Pou Díaz � P 280

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Michel Pou Díaz � P 280

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Kuba 74 � P 280

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JAZZ IS FREEDOM

MARCHING MUSIC INGO GRAF

IS DICTATORSHIP Slanted #21 – Interview

Ingo Graf � P 280

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Ingo Graf

Hartwig Runge, better known as Ingo Graf, has a diploma in philosophy and worked as a teacher for math and physics before he started his career as a pop singer in former East Germany. He was pretty successful and visited many countries where he picked up lots of souvenirs. When he traveled to Cuba, he started to collect the colorful and political posters and is now owner of a very rare and outstanding collection. Reason enough for Markus Lange to meet Ingo Graf in November 2012 in Leipzig (DE). Markus Lange You became known as a pop-star in the GDR under the alias Ingo Graf? How did that come about? Ingo Graf It is quite simple. There was a well-known GDR TV show Talentebewegung; I appeared as Hartwig Runge on it regularly and it seems I was quite successful. Thereby, I appeared in another episode of the TV series Herzklopfen kostenlos … a sort of casting show. The final was again in Berlin in 1964. The whole show was one happy get-together and was also broadcasted live on TV. So I sat there and played my compositions on the piano. I must have created the impression and had the charm of the perfect son-in-law because after the show I received heaps of fan letters. And among these was an invitation from Amiga. I then met the production director who said to me: “Hartwig Runge – that sounds good!” I didn’t really care then, I simply wanted to become famous and so, shortly afterwards, I received a letter addressed to “Sir Ingo Graf at Hartwig Runge …” Of course, during GDR times it had its repercussions. A short time later, the ideological head of the party knocked at my door. “We have expropriated the large land­ owners and now you call yourself ‘Graf’?!” he said. Furthermore, I also wanted to appear on TV in a suit which my aunt sent me from the West. That will never do and I had to think of the consequences. I was a mathematics and physics teacher at that time and had some misgivings about what the state could have in store for me. Then I had my first big appearance at the Friedrichstadtpalast in Berlin. I went to the head of Amiga and explained the whole problem to him, but he only laughed and said: “We will do it anyway!” Back in my hometown, I of course was the talk of the town and had to appear before the 1st party secretary. To my surprise, he was very enthusiastic and said that fortunately due to the “black and white TV” one was not able to notice that my suit was from the West. It was at this moment that the career of Ingo Graf began. Slanted #21 – Interview

As a teacher of mathematics and physics how did you arrive at music? I think it was my mother who had the greatest influence in this. She played the piano excep­ tion­ally well and forced me to take piano lessons for two years. We lived near the train station at that time and always when people got off the train I leaped to the open window to the piano and began to play and sing. Thus, I already had my own audience and a regular stage, which I appeared on, when I was a small boy. Even during my studies I never stopped (without notes!) playing the piano; it became quasi my trademark. In this manner I actually became noticeable in a positive way and I liked that very much. Surely, without this egomania and ingomania, how a dear friend of mine from Berlin aptly named it, I would never have been successful. As an artist you have to be con­­­vinced of yourself, it is only in this way that you develop the motivation to be different. As a high school teacher of mathematics and physics I still was made assistant for philosophy; the students then asked me what I thought of Western music and Radio Luxemburg. In my naivety I said that I really liked the music and that there were so many good musicians. After having said that it was clear to me that I had to give in because I knew what the students were aiming at. But it was already too late and so I was soon suspended and compulsory retired from teaching in the natural sciences. Nevertheless you were able to be successful internationally. What was your first hit? It was totally crazy since the first song I produced at Amiga was a West song. They wanted to show that our people in the East could sing just as well and selected Bravo Bambina from Rex Guildo. However, I never sang the song since it didn’t fit my mentality, but on the radio the people liked it. Previously, at a large student party, I sang a song that only had been given to me a short time before. But since I have a bad formal memory I remembered only the first line: “Melodie d’amour” and I sang three minutes Ingo Graf � P 280

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Slanted #21 – Interview

Ingo Graf � P 280

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Chico plays piano in a havana club Chico & Rita in a havana club

FERNANDO TRUEBA & JAVIER MARISCAL A FILM BY

Slanted #21 – Essay

Wolfgang Wick � P 280

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Chico & Rita at piano, Chico’s apartment Village Vanguard, New York

Chico & Rita is a film by Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal with beautiful music and artistic appearance. Wolfgang Wick designed the printed matters for KOOL Filmdistribution and so got in touch with the artists to get an insight view into this fabulous project.

Slanted #21 – Essay

Wolfgang Wick � P 280

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Chico & Rita and

Wolfgang Wick

The Caballeros

Among low warehouses two historical motor scooters from the 50s are parked. Besides that a broken fence, a crocked little company sign and an iron door. This is how Estudio Mariscal presents itself from the outside in 2007. The young PR manager Eva greets us and shows us around the two-storeyed studio. The lower area is full of simple shelves as room dividers and the in-house designer toys are presented in the shelves. One repeatedly finds conference tables between the shelves. Javier Mariscal, boss and eponym, sits at one o f them, just in a conversation. The designer is well known as the inventor of the Catalan shepherd dog Cobi, the mascot of the 1992 Olympic Games. Upstairs, Tono Errando, one of the brothers of Mariscal, organizes the animation business. Here the employees sit at large tables, draw and color by hand. Eva talks about the latest project, an animated film set in the time before and after the Cuban revolution. She also shows us the unfinished trailer: Chico & Rita, a love story between a musician and a singer, with jazz music from Havana and New York in the 50s. With shining eyes she tells us about the genesis of the film. Errando and Mariscal work at Chico & Rita together with the Oscar-winning director Fernando Trueba (Belle Epoque). Since Mariscal designed all artworks for Trueba’s jazz documentary Calle 54, both share a deep friendship, which also led to an own jazz restaurant in Madrid. And now a common film, in which Cuban musicians move to New York and team up with the local jazz musicians. Besides, design and architecture of the 50s fit in with Mariscal; they are part of his visual world. In the film, the story of the musicians only represents the context. Fernando Trueba wants a classical love story: falling in love, separation, finding love again. Embedded in the two worlds of Havana and New York of the time. The directors spent four weeks in Havana to film, even though Chico & Rita will be an animated film. Eva explains that the filming helps the illustrators / drawers to visualize the movements of the acting persons and makes the camera movements more natural and human. In addition, the filmmakers discovered a real treasure: An archive stores photographs from every street corner in Havana from 1949. They found musicians playing and Americans smoking on photographs taken in airplanes, which brought the party guests to Cuba in the 40s and 50s. In the next step, the Caballeros had to find out in which animation style the film should be drawn. Realistic or graphic? Or a melange? Real events are very accurate, animation, however, invents reality. The figures move differently; actors may add feelings, but animation also adds poetry. Therefore, the directors sought out some of the best designers with lots of experience and the ability to move away from their old tools to new animation techniques. Another challenge came with the relocation of the plot from Havana to New York. The mood of the film changes abruptly because Manhattan is a vertical city and almost monochrome; Havana is horizontal, sunny, warm, colorful. Eva cites Mariscal: “We have New York and Havana. We have Latinos and Anglos. What is a Latino? A specific weather, a color, music, fashion, a way of loving.” Although the setting is important, the story still has priority. Again Mariscal: “It’s always about the story. Every point, every line, every color, every movement, every background should tell the story. The world we need to create is always: ‘Yes, Rita, please kiss Chico again, fabulous.’” What a wonder­ ful drawing of Mariscal, such a beautiful light, what a great movement. “No – I do fantastic drawings and then throw them away because they are useless at that moment. The whole time I reflect upon what would be best for the audience. That is what we have to do.” For both figures, the filmmakers found real-life people as models. Bebo Valdés, the Cuban pianist, band leader, composer, and arranger was the inspiration for Chico. After all, Trueba had rediscovered him in Stockholm and then produced the Grammy award-winning album Lagrima Negras with him. Valdés composed the film music. A photo from his early years inspired Mariscal while designing Chicos appearance; still, the figure of Chico should be a tribute to all Cuban musicians of this period. Flamenco star Estrelle Morente was a model for singer Rita. According to Trueba, she stands with one foot in the 19th and with the other foot in the 21st century. She is venerable and at the same time modern. A balancing act which can also be found among the musicians. The crew decided to ask contemporary musicians to play in the style of former musicians like Cole Porter or Thelonious Monk. They casted a tenor saxophonist who can play Ben Webster, an alto saxophonist in the style of Charlie Parker, or a trumpeter like Dizzy Gillespie. And then Eva shows us the trailer once more. Images and music arouse a nostalgic desire in me to immerse myself right here in the whole movie, but our time is up. We say thank you to Eva and leave the Mariscal Studios through the iron door. As we pass the historical motor scooters, I realize: They are not simply parked among the warehouse atmosphere, they are visual templates for the artists. For a brief moment the credits of the trailer appear once more in front of my eyes. “Love is a song that you will never forget.” Slanted #21 – Essay

Wolfgang Wick � P 280

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reggaetón

rap

Mario MC by Wolfgang Wick

MAlecón Buena Vista and

hip-hop in

HAVANA Slanted #21 – Interview

Mario MC � P 281

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Mario MC

RAPPER DO NOT LAUGH! Mario Delgado Sotomayor, known as Mario MC, was born in Havana in June 1976. Birgit Bienhaus and Wolfgang Wick asked Mario MC, co-initiator of the project Muraleando in Havana and “idea provider” of the CD Malecón Buena Vista, how he managed to become a rap musician in October 2011. Birgit Bienhaus and Wolfgang Wick Mario, what does rap music mean to you and what is so special about it? Mario MC First of all, I must say that I love rap music. It is the ideal way for me to express what is in my heart, what moves me. I want to pass that on. rap plays a great part in my life; I make music to give advice to young people. I want to achieve a radical change in people’s mind that have negative thoughts. The special thing about my music are its positive messages, good lyrics and endless rhymes. The most important thing is: I write the lyrics first and then I make the music. The lyrics convey the content; the music brings it to the mind of the audience. rap is a complicated and complex style of music. How did you get into rap music? When I was 15 years old, my mother died. My father already left me when I was six. Suddenly I was alone and completely left on my own. There was no more perspective for me and suddenly everything seemed hopeless. I got together with people, who eventually weren’t good for me and caused me problems. At that time I didn’t realize this yet, that came only later. Finally I ended up in prison for minor offenses, where I had much time to think. I saw it as a real punishment for a wrong chosen life. I had to change my life. Moreover, I became conscious that there are many young people like me. Therefore, I took the decision to look for possibilities to give other people who had similar problems like me to give them a new purpose in life and to break fresh ground. I learned English, because I knew that I had more opportunities with the language. After my release I sat down together with Manuel Díaz Baldrich, a painter and designer from my hometown Lawton. Lawton is a district of Havana. There were many children and teenagers who were bored after school on the street. We wanted to give them meaning and support in their lives. They shouldn’t have to experience and go through similar things like me. Moreover, on every street corner waste was piled high and was getting bigger, in general Slanted #21 – Interview

the district didn’t seem appealing. We thought about how we could on the one hand give the teenagers a meaningful organization of their leisure time and on the other hand beautify our neighborhood. So we founded in 2002 Muraleando which means as much as painting walls.We had to round up the next generation. Our idea was received enthusiastically and enjoyed wide approval. Gradually, colorful paintings adorned the streets of Lawton. The waste piles disappeared and in its place beautiful places arose to relax or just to look at. From old typewriters or disused car rims grew sculptures, real works of art, which were colorfully painted, finally brought color to the formerly drab streets. Eventually we came up with the idea to offer the children also music workshops. This was then my remit. I showed them how to feel music and how to express one’s feelings in music. rap and reggaetón seemed therefore ideal to me. After four years of music lessons I started recording the reggaetón songs of the children. So I came up with the idea also to produce my own songs. For me, I rather prefer rap / hip-hop, which is the same in Cuba. Unfortunately I had to cease the music recordings due to the lack of funds. Do you get any money for Muraleando? How is it that you have produced CDs anyway? No, Muraleando is completely volunteer work. Primarily, it is important for us to increase the quality of life in our neighborhood and we succeeded. That dream has come true. Since my music has never let me go I’ve teamed up with other rappers and reggaetóneros which are all very dedicated. They help and support each other. That’s how I’ve met Rosa and Ashlie from Company Yoruba, who set up a small recording studio. Everyone has their own style. This is a real asset to me. I bring also the youth of Muraleando with other musicians together to give them new ideas and new experiences. Mario, a question at the end: What do you wish for the future? I would like to travel the world and give concerts where I want. Mario MC � P 281

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Sachie Hernández Machín

Sachie Hernández Machín is addicted to people and their ideas. She is working in the cultural sector and is the national coordinator and curator of the project Havana Cultura by Havana Club International. Lars Harmsen met Sachie in December 2012 at Freies Museum Berlin during an exhibition for contemporary visual art and new film from Cuba. He conducted this interview with her in January 2013.

Cuban art has in all its sections a long tradition of social commitment Lars Harmsen Dear Sachie, tell us something about you. After working for the Center for the Development of the Visual Arts you became an independent curator of Cuban art, how did you get there? Sachie Hernández Machín As a first degree, I studied International Relations. As a result, I gained my first work experience in the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in some temporary and permanent service trips abroad. At the end of 2004, however, I felt the need to be part of a more flexible working environment in the Cuban context and, thus, I made the decision to reorient my career into the cultural sector. As a child I enjoyed the dance and the theatre, due to the movement of amateur artists. In these years of my childhood, I was an “artist.” In my youth, I followed movies, dancing, and music with eagerness. I also started to become very interested in fine arts, perhaps because some of my close friends started to study design and art. I also think that the strong pioneering movement in the 80s in Cuba, particularly in the field of fine arts, placing the experimental form as well as the content of Cuban art on the same level as international artistic practices, caught the attention of many sensitized people who developed outside of this milieu. I started to work at the Fondo Cubano de Bienes Culturales (Cuban Fund of Cultural Assets), trading some of the works of Cuban artists and artisans. I later changed to a gallery, which belonged to the art gallery company Génesis, and I was appointed chief specialist of the Sevando Gallery, a commercial exhibition room that I should subsequently direct. Due to the intensive collaboration with the artists and other colleagues, I gained knowledge about general art Slanted #21 – Interview

history, contemporary art, curating, museum administration, photography, and other fields related to the arts. Later the offer came of becoming the director of the Centre for Development of Fine Arts. The experience, which I gained in this national institution, was very intense due to the high demands, but also enriching. I approached the work of the younger generation, of students of the Academia San Alejandro and the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA), and even the works of many artists who live outside of Havana, in other provinces. It also allowed me to approach the world of designers, especially of graphic designers, but also of industrial designers. These have demonstrated a remarkable creativity in recent years, with the revival of the poster, editorial design, and many audiovisual areas. Leaving the Center for Development was not a personal decision, it resulted from the tensions and subsequent disruptions of communication with the organizations for whose activities we were responsible. I started to carry out some projects as an independent curator, which was a personal challenge and decision. I needed a break from the institutional structure and decided that I could risk it to go my own professional way, arrange my time for myself and continue to support the development and promotion of many young and long-established artists, whose studies and works I appreciate deeply. I would like to emphasize that my experience is neither unique nor novel, there are many curators and critics in Cuba who also do an independent, productive, and honest work in promoting the fine arts in and outside of Cuba. Soon the artists themselves made me interesting offers, which I accepted. I, for example, Sachie Hernández Machín � P 281

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From the series Blurred, 2009 – 2013 12 × 9 inches (each) Ink and mixed media on paper Courtesy: Tonel

coordinated the preparation of a book of the prestigious Cuban artist Sandra Ramos. Other projects also emerged that enabled me to work with new institutions, such as the Factoría Habana, a space that was created by the office of the city’s historian in order to promote national and foreign contemporary art. Further­ more, I worked with Havana Cultura, a very elaborate initiative of the company Havana Club International to promote works by young artists during residencies and to establish a contemporary Cuban art collection. I am the national coordinator and curator of the project. Many young artists come into my house, looking for support and advice, and I also visit a lot of studios. In addition, I occasionally contribute to some publications that are specialized in art. Generally, I work a lot, but I still enjoy it. I’m addicted to people and their ideas, to every­ thing that mankind is able to express with strength and beauty, and I feel useful and happy when I work with others. Where do the artists you work with come from, how and where did you discover them? Slanted #21 – Interview / Illustration

The artists with whom I work are Cubans. The majority of them lives and works in Cuba, but sometimes I also follow the creative process of some artists who live abroad or spend most of their time there. This is a phenomenon that is becoming increasingly common and normal. With some I have a direct, lasting, and natural relationship and others, I invite and integrate in collective projects that I organize. A large number of the artists were educated in the numerous art academies that exist in Cuba, earning middle and higher degrees. Many of them also studied abroad at universities and institutions and now cooperate with Cuban and foreign galleries. My contact to most of them is established through my work. I got to know almost all of them because they came into the gallery and into my house, offering a good project and really wanted to work, or because I visited them myself in their studios or academies in order to learn more about the poetry in their work and their working methods. I do not think that it was important to get to know as many artists as Sachie Hernández Machín � P 281 Tonel � P 281

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Havana Today,

Havana visual arts

music

cinema

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Randall Koral

The Havana Cultura initiative has become a reference for the support and promotion of contemporary Cuban arts and culture. Randall Koral – reporter, magazine editor and film maker – travels to Havana once a year and knows the extent of Havana Cultura’s work.

Let’s see how well you know Havana. If you believe the city’s streets are filled with satin-suited rumberos shaking maracas while spicy señoritas do the chick-chickyboom, you are (a) a time-traveller from 1946, (b) the fictional character played by Desi Arnaz in Cuban Pete, or (c) missing the point entirely. We’re talking about modern Havana here, so let’s try again. If you suspect there’s a lot more to the Cuban capital than Buicks, barbudos and the Buena Vista Social Club – ya está, now you’re on the right track. If you understand that Havana today is a powerhouse of inspiration for cubatón, rockoson and Afro-Cuban jazz; for the Havana Biennial art fair and the Cubadanza festival; for films like Suite Habana, Habanastation and 7 Days in Havana; for poster artists and choteo (satire) artists; for the Trilogía sucia de La Habana by Pedro Juan Gutiérrez – if you know all that, then chances are you’re already well acquainted with Havana Cultura, the pre-eminent arts showcase for 21st-century Havana.

Havana Cultura is first and foremost a website, Havana-Cultura.com, where you’ll find an ever-expanding mosaic of interviews with the artists who live and work in Havana today. Think of it as a kind of two-way mirror, one that affords the rest of the world a penetrating look into life in the Cuban capital while featured artists gain exposure far and wide.

To ensure that the coverage stays focussed on the here and now, the Havana Cultura website is regularly updated by a team of filmmakers, reporters and photographers. Their mission: to document rather than to celebrate the variety and virtuosity of Havana’s flourishing arts scene. [Note: any celebrating that may occur is purely incidental and takes place outside working hours]. And this feature coverage is supplemented by constant updates on Cuban arts and artists across all the major social networks (Youtube, Facebook, Twitter) as well as by the Havana Cultura blog and newsletter. Havana Cultura would not be possible without the support of Havana Club Inter­ national S.A., maker of Cuba’s most iconic rum. In addition to promoting Havana’s historic stature as the world’s cocktail capital – the city where the mojito and the daiquiri were born – Havana Club has long been an active and visible participant in the city’s cultural life, sponsoring concerts and organizing exhibitions as well as underwriting foreign tours for Cuban artists. The Havana Cultura project took shape in 2005 under the aegis of Havana Club Communications Director François Renié, a Frenchman by birth and habanero by heart. “Cuban culture is often associated with the past,” Renié pointed out. “Havana Club is today’s Cuban rum, and Havana Cultura is about today’s Cuban culture.” The Havana Cultura team took that cue to explore every corner of modern Havana, roaming from Alamar to Zamora, from uptown art galleries to underground dance clubs, from Yissy the drummer to Yusa the soul singer. The Havana Cultura

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Visitors at the Havana Cultura exhibition opening in May 2012

The Havana Cultura Band live in Paris, November 2011

All photos on this page by Caleb Krivoshey

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Havana Cultura New Cuba Sound, 2009

Havana Cultura Remixed, 2010

Havana Cultura The Search Continues, 2011

Havana Cultura Mala in Cuba, 2012

Havana Cultura Sessions, 2010

format of New Cuba Sound, CD01 features original compositions from Havana Cultura Band members Roberto Fonseca, Danay Suárez, El Tipo Este, Edrey from Ogguere, and Francis del Río alongside newcomers to the project like underground rap stars Los Aldeanos, Arema Arega, Osdalgia, Melvis Santa, Silvito El Libre, Dreiser, Elain Morales and Sexto Sentido. CD02 offers up new or exclusive tracks from more local discoveries: Djoyvan, Afrikun, Kola Loka, the Creole Choir of Cuba and El Productor en Jefe. During that same 2011 trip, Gilles Peterson was joined in Havana by another of his London cohorts, dubstep pioneer Mala (Digital Mystikz). Mala worked with vocalists and musicians while he was in Havana and then spent a year in his London studio mixing what would become the world’s first Cuban dubstep album, Mala in Cuba, released in September 2012.

As Gilles Peterson and his colleagues continued (and continue) their search for new music, Havana Cultura began tactical manoeuvres on a different front: the visual arts. The Havana Cultura Visual Arts Project was launched in 2010 by Havana Club International to grant scholarships to emerging artists and to create a corporate art collection to be exhibited in the future.

To benefit from this program, artists must be young and must reside in Cuba, and they must have limited previous international exposure and unlimited artistic potential. A total of six artists are selected each year by a jury of professionals from the Cuban art world to participate in six-month residencies. The first artists to benefit from this residency program participated in a group exhibition in 2012. Housed in the Havana Club Museo del Ron gallery and timed to coincide with the 11th Havana Biennial, the show included Alejandro González’s photo portraits of young Cubans and their “tribes”; Orestes Hernández’s sculptures that looked to be made of shaving foam; and a video installation by Reinier Nande that re-created the feeling of a drive through Havana neighborhoods and through time. “This exhibition gives an overview of the trends in contemporary Cuban art,” noted art curator Sachie Hernández, who is the Havana-based co-director of the Havana Cultura Visual Arts Project along with UK-based curator Flora Fairbairn. “This project is especially important for young artists without the means to publicise their work, to buy an ad in an art magazine, or to attend an international art fair. And although Cuban art is not totally unknown in the rest of the world, this provides an opportunity to see what Cuban artists are doing right now.”

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HABANA FUTURO

Slanted #21 – Photography

Alejandro GonzáleZ � P 280

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José Toirac

With HISTORY’S PERMISSION

Unlike the societies of the past, which used to consume beliefs, the so-called advanced societies are now consuming images. People place as much trust in images as they do in their own eyes, which is tantamount to a form of oblivion. They forget that the production of images was an attempt to find it by that very means. We do not decipher our images because we live in accordance with them. To speak now, for instance, of the Cuban Revolution is to discover the photographs taken in the sixties and not the reality which produced them. Imagination has turned into hallucination, invading the traditional ways of representing history.

This process of substitution is the subject of my photographic essay, With history’s permission. The point of departure goes back to the sixties and the iconography of the Cuban Revolution. These images fulfilled the purpose of recording and disseminating the historical significance of the event. The press of the period did the rest, describing in full detail how it was possible to take the sky by storm and hand power over the people: the bearded visitors at the UN, endeavoring to set up camp in the New York’s Central Park, Sartre’s trip to Havana, talking philosophy with Che Guevara well into the small hours of the morning. All this did not seem to suffice. It was also necessary to dramatize the recent past and return to the mountains where rebel fighting had contributed to Cuba’s revolutionary triumph in 1959. The documentation of the symbolic return to Sierra Maestra was produced by professional photographers from the world of fashion and news agencies. They went to such great lengths to fulfill their mission that they added a magical time and meaning to the historical discourse. Although any revolution constitutes a radical attempt to change reality, its iconography seeks to change our concepts of reality and history. Because of their natural ability to freeze the instant, photographs perpetuate events. Thanks to them, we are able to relive the past as many times as we like. In the midst of the era of idolatry, history ceased to be linear to become a cyclical, magical process. The idea of the return is found everywhere and this is the reason why, in 1994, a group of friends and artists, including myself, gathered together for the purpose of staging once more the historical reconstructions led by Fidel Castro during the sixties. Thus, by re-photographing the ritual, we bring out the continue flow of redundant images. Perhaps this is the latest form of revolution, accessible today to photography within a narrow margin of freedom which history permits. Slanted #21 – Photography

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Con Permiso de la Historia (With history’s permission), 1994 (Created in collaboration with Meira Marrero) Lambda print on archival paper 10 white and black photos of 8" × 10" each one

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Sara Vega Miche

Sara Vega Miche is a researcher of Cuban film posters and curator of several Cuban poster exhibitions. That’s why she knows the new generation of Cuban poster designers quite well. For Slanted she conducted a group interview with some outstanding talents in January 2013.

Nelson Ponce Sánchez Havana, 1975 Sara Vega Miche What does it mean for you to share experiences with Alfredo Rostgaard, one of the greatest Cuban designers of the second half of the 20th century? Nelson Poncé Sánchez I like it very much when one asks me questions about my intimate friend Rostgaard because many memories emerge. Inevitably, I have to smile when I think of his pranks and his fine sense of humor. It was a privilege for me to be his student and also to share the work with him, as well as the occasional rum. He was an individual who did not make a lot of fuss about himself, but he had wit and ingenuity. I believe that his designs were influenced by this personality; he became a very special poster artist, with a great capacity for creating visual metaphors. It is difficult to determine the extent of the impression that a great designer makes on you, when one has the opportunity to meet him personally. I think I have benefited greatly from this brief friendship that we had and, up to today, he is still an important reference point in what I do. For quite some time now, the cultural poster has no longer played an important role within the cityscape, as it did in the 60s and 70s. Do you still think it reaches the average audience or is it just an exercise of aesthetic pleasure for a limited group with a specific specialization? I believe that the poster in the current Cuba is only a fetish for a particular group and in many cases it no longer has any informational purpose. It still has not regained the fullness of the streets, but one has to admit that it has regained some areas. The poster has been upgraded again, after a period of absence. It would be naive to propose that the poster production should equate to the 60s and 70s since new communication media have been established, and some of these are very effective. However, there Slanted #21 – Interviews

Cuban Poster ART The nEW Generation

are more and more institutions, especially in the cultural field, which have become clients of posters. Yet, it is a pity that their edition of copies is very reduced through the applied technique and the small budget that is available for this purpose. The lack of urban poster sites, however, is worst of all. At the moment, one has to be satisfied with a pat on the back as a sign of appreciation from the galleries. Raúl Valdés GonzáleZ (RAUPA) Havana, 1980 Sar a Vega Miche What does your cooperation with the Cuban Institute of Art and Film Industry (ICAIC) as a poster designer and the person responsible for the image of such an important event for this institution like the Muestra Joven mean to you? Raupa The ICAIC and the office of Muestra Joven have trusted me for years. They never know in which direction the next issue is going, but they still give me the responsibility to design and implement it. It is an opportunity of which there are few in Cuba, the ability to make a campaign without restrictions, in which you are allowed to use every technique. Not belonging to any economic sector, but to feed the wishes of the film people and those who are not, is an honorable task. The cooperation exists since six years. I started when I got my degree in Graphic Design, and have not stopped since. My desire to do something I’ve never done before, to expand the limits, to speak with various languages, grows more and more. I used the film and animation without distinction because that’s what gives me the greatest pleasure, to tell stories and create their characters. Everything goes in the direction of offering the audience a grand premiere, where everyone will say: “This year, the Muestra Joven is really good.” I always try to fantasize with everything that surrounds us with icons, movies, comics in order to make her look young, the way she is, the youngest Sara Vega Miche � P 282

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and, therefore, the most dynamic. For the ICAIC I made film posters, posters for film weeks, anniversaries, and exhibitions. To create posters is just as stressful as it is lovable. Currently, you are one of the most popular designers for spots of cultural events and activities. Have your advantages in this area exceeded the interest in the poster design? As I always say, these are two different works. In motion design, you have to work a lot with technology; many hours disappear for the anima­tion and the editing. One finds a whole arsenal of ideas in a story, a film script, and in an exhausting production. With the poster it’s some­thing else, it’s a moment where you are for yourself, where you listen to your inner voice and make choices, discover meanings or they even discover you. During the poster design, visions are materialized that have something to do with the plot or the story, or not. One hopes that all will share the vi­sions when they see it and that the viewer be­comes an accomplice. There is a balance be­ tween both works, and both are necessary. It is a strong and genuine feeling. I will always make posters, even if I should have no more customers, I will simply invent them. Michele Miyares Hollands Havana, 1976 Sara Vega Miche There was an important step from an average education up to your later degree at the ISDi. You are part of a generation that sets new standards in current Cuban design. How would you evaluate this reality? Michele Miyares Hollands It needs to be examined with care that the generation of which you speak is distinguished by its connections to the cultural field. The cultural institutions such as the Cuban Institute of Art and Film Industry (ICAIC), the Association of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC), the Casa de las Américas, among others, are the ones that provide the demand and support our work. Maybe it was this cultural vocation that made us think of strategies and new spaces for design: exhibitions, workshops, meetings, both in Cuba and abroad. The question should be if we really set new standards. I believe that we are not entitled to give this answer. The changes in Cuban graphics, the recapture of certain areas, and a certain amount of social intervention is, however, noteworthy. Even though a traditional attitude still prevails in reactionary moments, which allows the existence of a large mass of mediocre products. The world is experiencing the progress and expansion of digitization. We are undergoing times of change, in which the designer’s work is changing, extended to a quasi renewed level, as somebody once said. Cuba lives some distance away from all this, so carrying out our work is very limited. Slanted #21 – Interviews

But the essence of our profession, the necessary creativity, does not vary. Under these circumstances, we are a generation that focuses on the visualization of a design that is defined by the best of our heritage, but also suggests a “Sapere aude!” (dare to be wise), a quote by Kant. We preserve the tradition, which means that a renewal is inevitable. The originality of the current design can be preserved, but I believe in the authenticity of the design of my generation. In addition to the posters that you designed for ICAIC and other facilities, you also do the design for the magazine La Gaceta de Cuba. What were your experiences in these two disciplines? Making posters and designing La Gaceta are found­e d on the pleasure of recognition and pride. There is no unique method of making. What is taught in a medium transmits, un­ consciously or consciously, to another. As soon as one understands that the editorial design is the basis of graphic design, one becomes a better designer and feels freer; the freedom to take risks that results from having gained confidence. To discover the secrets of others and begin to conspire with the medium, as well as creating one’s own secrets. The editorial design shapes the design. One can never design a typeface, but through the design of the layout one can discover them and learn to love them because one owes much of one’s own success to it. One can be very creative, an exceptional illustrator, master photography, but if one does not develop any orthographic and typographic finesse, one’s designs will always appear ordinary, unpleasant, or uninteresting. This may be invisible to the layman, but not in the eyes of another designer. After I graduated, I stayed as a lecturer at the ISDi. Like everyone who just graduated, I faced the challenge of defenseless teaching, circumstances that made me delve deeper into things and discover new ones. I think I have learned more from my students than from many of my lecturers. At that time, I developed my sensitivity for the medium. To participate at the magazine gave me my profession. La Gaceta is also a door to Cuban culture. It is a process of collaboration; one has the opportunity to work in a professional team, where there may be other ideas as one’s own. One learns an equal and respectful treatment towards those who are involved in the final outcome. This exchange can increase the quality and the content ­of the design. One taught me illustration, even if I rarely design an image. The magazine is illustrated with works of art and that has trained my sight to seek after the meaning or the connection of independently designed things. All of this to expands my horizons; it is a constant practice. So that when it comes to the poster design, one has the feeling that the groundwork already has been done. Sometimes, to visualize Sara Vega Miche � P 282

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POSTER PRE-REVOLUCIÓN REVOLUTION

CUBAN

Photographs by Natalie Seisser

POSTER OSPAAAL

ICAIC

ART Slanted #21 – Posters

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� Fabián Muñoz Ché 80, 2008

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� Félix Beltrán Viva el XVI Aniversario del 26 de Julio, 1970

� René Azcuy Settimana del Cine Cubano, 1976

� Antonio Pérez (Ñico) Día de la Solidaridad Mundial con la Revolución Cubana, 1970

� Unknown

� Faustino Pérez ¡Morir por la patria es vivir!, 1970 � Antonio F. Reboiro Cuban Film Week, 1973

� Unknown

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� Antonio Pérez (Ñico) Semana de Cine Yugoslavo, 1975

� Eladio Rivadulla Fidel Castro, 1959

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� Nelson Ponce Pensamos Cuba, 2012

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� Eufemia Álvarez ReVés, 1970

� Pepe Menéndez El Pequeño Dictador, 2011

� Edel Rodríguez (Mola) Bola en su Centenario, 2011 � Raúl Valdes (Raupa) Spotsición, 2007

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� Pepe Menéndez Los Desastres de la Guerra, 2010

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� Daniel Cruz Naturaleza Muerta, 1998

� Edel Rodríguez (Mola) Reina y Rey, 2008

� Antonio Pérez (Ñiko) Búscame Lionia, 1974

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Giselle Monzón & NoA Proyecto de carteles “Y”. Décima Bienal de La Habana, 2009

� Giselle Monzón and Luis R. Noa Integración / Resistencia, 2009

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� Alfredo G. Rostgaard Black Power, 1968

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� Eduardo M. Bachs Sobre un Primer Combate, 1968

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� Edel Rodríguez (Mola) 27 Concurso de la Canción Francesa, 2011

� Roberto Ramos Trece Festival de Teatro, 2009

� Michele M. Hollands and Giselle Monzón Paralelas, 2010

� Giselle Monzón and Edel Rodríguez (Mola) Lo que se Sabe no se Pregunta, 2011

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� Edel Rodríguez (Mola) En el Cuerpo Equivocado, 2010

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� Nelson Ponce and Eduardo Sarmiento Gran Final, 2009

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�Edel Rodríguez (Mola) El Sabueso de los Baskerville, 2009

� Giselle Monzón Cuba, Mucho Gusto, 2011

� Arnulfo Espinosa Rumberos de Cuba, 2010

� Eric Silva 12 Vueltas, 2010

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Love is a Dog from Hell II, Acrylic on canvas, 30" × 24", 2012

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limitations for each individual. Still I wouldn’t want to live there anymore. Maybe I will move to another country, when the possibility arises, but then again there are so many. Where and what are you currently working on? At the moment, I’m working as a creative director in an agency specialized on Latin-American advertising. Most of the time we work for large companies that want to position there advertisement in Latin-America, e.g. Samsung, General Electric, MasterCard, etc. I’m actually spending most of my time at the moment doing hardcore graphic design. Logos, flyers, and posters are at the top of my list. Consequently, it is very difficult to continue the work on my pictures since I’m at the agency during the day and I’m drawing at night and on the weekends. How is the title of your work related to the work itself, since you always give them very ambiguous titles. Bukovski vs Desire, 2012 / Love is a Dog from Hell, 2012 / Portrait of my Mother, her Girlfriend & Death, 2012 / Provoking Desire, 2012. Life as such is incredibly short and temporary. I want to live 300 years and in every country in the world. Through my art I am able to exist way longer as I actually live. Here the ambiguity is very well reflected again. I also allow myself to be greatly inspired by Bukowski and I incorporate his poetry in my work. He is so honest and honesty guides my daily conduct. Through my work as a graphic designer and artist I try to understand the world and try to respect it. Thus it is my understanding of respect towards the world. Life, love, and death are the central themes that concern me and which influence my life. Is this the reason why most of the persons are naked in your pictures? I love the human body; every part and every detail is so beautiful. The naked human body is something so marvelous. When one talks of love and people talk of love they are usually naked, or one should at least be naked. This is the most sincere experience between two human beings. One confronts the other without a mask and entrusts one’s body to the other person. Who and what inspires you in your work? Life as a whole inspires me: music, visual arts, simply everything. Germany is a huge source of inspiration for me. There are so many excellent books on design and plenty of world famous and trailblazing artists like, e.g. Albrecht Dürer, George Grosz, or Christian Schad. I’ve been trying to visit Germany for quite some time to gain a first-hand impression of the works on site and to experience the place of origin of Expressionism and Neo-Expressionism. Besides, numerous Latin-American poets and poetry in general inspire me. What are your plans for the future, besides coming to Germany? Slanted #21 – Interview

Currently, I’m working on a new series with my Naked Bodies. It will be a love story, consisting of 17 pieces. The whole thing is based on my family genealogy and my interpretation of the relationships. My main goal, however, is a very simple one: I want to experience great moments in my life and get to know more people. Can you imagine resigning from the agency and working only as an artist? Yes and no. What I really want is to gain control of my work and to have the freedom to say: OK, now I will only paint for two whole weeks, then design posters for one week, and then travel one week. As I already told you, I’m only able to paint at night at the moment and I’m waiting for the moment when I’ll be really famous and can work as I please. For the moment, however, I want to do everything: graphic design, and art, and many other things. If one looks at the posters that are made in Cuba, the illustrations seem to be full of power and self-confidence. We notice critical and ironic posters. On the whole, one can say that the quality of the illustrations has remained at the same high level or has even improved. Only the typography of the posters no longer seems to get any attention and, in some cases, appears to be added carelessly. That is very interesting because I have already observed the same problem and wasn’t sure if it was only my subjective feeling. If one looks at the posters of the Revolution, one recognizes that they are full of energy and enthusiasm. The people wanted to change things and put all their love into the poster. Today, most of the stuff is contract work and if one doesn’t love the project a 100% then it quite quickly happens that the quality suffers. Moreover, there is a lack of specialists in Cuba who are well versed in digital fonts and who could teach this at the universities. A great selection of museums and graphic magazines is lacking in Cuba no site and the Internet is very restricted, so that all of these sources of inspiration are missing. Thanks Eduardo and all the best for your future projects.

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Heads Slanted #21 – Illustration

Edel Rodríguez � P 283

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El Matador, 2012

El Borracho, 2012

La Marquesa de Nada, 2012

Edel Rodríguez

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Edmund Clark ďż˝ P 283

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176 Original, hand-censored letter to a detainee from his daughter


EDMUND CLARK

IF THE LIGHT

GOES OUT

This work explores the experience of Guantanamo through three notions of home: The naval base at Guantanamo, home to the American community; the complex of detention camps on the naval base where detainees are held; and homes where former detainees now find themselves trying to rebuild their lives in Europe and the Middle East. The series’ disjointed narrative conveys the sense of disorientation and dislocation central to the experience of incarceration at Guantanamo. The viewer is asked to jump from prison camp detail to domestic still life; from life outside the naval base and back again – from light to dark.

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Naval Base

Camp 6

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Autopsy table, Naval Base Mortuary

Base

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Michael Schmidt

Equal among

Michael Schmidt is coowner and managing director of Munich based graphic design bureau Melville Brand Design. As photo editor of Slanted Magazine, he writes about his personal and moody estimation of experiences he made in dealing with Cuba and Cuban infrastructure.

Equals The Emperor’s New Clothes

You might think: Life on Cuba is fairly easy. The sun is shining all over the year. Very few decisions have to be made – not as we are used to over here in capitalist countries. For almost 50 years there was only one leader – means no opposition or alternative that would have given much of a choice or even a conflict of who to vote for. The laid back infrastructure takes people out of the hectic and buzzing World – the opposite is a few miles north across the ocean or in “good old Europe.” Cubans are friendly: not much “now,” not even “today” but a lot of mañana. But there are subtle ways of showing off a little difference. We stumbled among Cuban awkwardness when we did a book on adidas a few years ago. We found pictures of Fidel Castro in track suits branded with the three stripes. We found them curious and wanted them in the book. In the course of adding captions to those pictures we found out how adidas got into Cuba. How the German sports brand signed a deal and provided, since 1980, shoes and apparel for almost all Cuban Olympic athletes. Due to circumstances that might have something to do with the speed in which things travel and developed in Cuba, especially when bureaucracy is involved, the pictures never got approved to show and consequently never made it in the book. There was simply no one that approved them in time, we believe. When we investigated a little deeper in the story how adidas got that deal, we found out that it was due to a personal visit of the head of the German company, Horst Dassler himself. And even though he met Fidel Castro in person, the business relationship that developed was very hard to maintain. Reasons being the lack of telephone lines that would work, the lack of fax machines, and sometimes the lack of paper to fill those fax machines. But since sport is such a vital factor in Cuba and such an excellent means of a political system to sometimes nag the class enemy or simply destroy him (like Cuban boxing legend Teófilo Stevenson often did) adidas and its vital equipment was probably given the green light more often than products in other trades. Slanted #21 – Essay

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Just recently we dealt with Cuban photographs again. This time shot by a local Cuban photographer. His JPGs were great, the layouts done. Now we wanted high-res images. We meant tomorrow, we got a “mañana”. It was certainly not the photographer delaying things – it was simply the stability of the Internet in Cuba. The infrastructure with no choice broke transmission before all Megabytes reached us. Since there is no choice but lots of chance we still hope to get those highres images. Good thing – it hits everyone in Cuba. Hence most people that do not belong to a certain elite are pretty much solidary. People dress alike, the smile alike and dream alike. But then there are others in Cuba. A prime example how elitism among equals is show is the extravagant dress-sense of Fidel Castro, former Cuban Prime Minister and Cuban President (from 1959–2008) – whose pictures never got shown in the book for copyright reasons, stepped down from power in 2006. Since this was unbelievable everyone assumed the former leader to be dying. So he showed himself in public. Alive and vital.

What better proof of vitality than a former president in track suits. (Whether it was his idea or the Cuban propaganda ministry is unknown).

As Cubans do, he wore only one brand. For many years he has been seen wearing always the same brand. And then this! Another brand. Why did he change the brand after 2008. The New York Times, investigative as ever provides (some) answers. Erin Skarda reports in his article entitled Fidel Castro’s Tracksuits: “Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba has been seen in track suits ever since he was photographed wearing a red, white and blue adidas version while recovering from surgery in 2006. Since then, the possibly ailing 85-year-old has expanded his athletic wear to include other brands, such as Fila, Puma and Nike – the last of which, may we point out, is barred from being sold in Cuba due to the 40-year-old U.S. trade embargo. But just because Castro likes to show his sporty side in his fashion choices doesn’t mean that brands are apt to utilize the dictator in their campaigns. It’s not a positive, not a negative,” Travis González, head of adidas p.r., told the New York Times when asked about Castro’s clothing choice in 2006. “We are a sports brand. We are making products for athletes, we are not making them for leaders.” That didn’t deter Castro, who made a rare public appearance in April 2011 to formally resign as secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, from wearing a navyand-white Fila track suit.” It is hard to believe that Castro changed brands to give a piece signal. Nike as a means to shake hands over more than 50 years of hostility between the two nations? Not likely. For his late dress-sense Castro has been ranked No. 8 in the TIME Magazine’s online ranking “worst dressed dictators”(No. 8 is not as bad as No. 1 in this list). We believe that he changed brands simply because – like every Cuban would do if they only could, because he can. Some change after wearing the same old clothes again, first there was camouflage for 50 years, then track suits by one brand, than he got into a frenzy and changed brands until … Last year he got shown neither in a war lords nor in an athlete’s uniform but in proper civil clothes, quite fashionable actually: a red chequered shirts and straw hat. Now there is hope we thought! (we still wait for those high-res pictures, remember?). On February 5, 2013 Fidel was shown on the cover of German newspaper flagship Süddeutsche Zeitung. And guess what: In Lacoste civil (but sporty clothes) and his body guards in, guess what? Adidas track suits. Times are obviously changing in Cuba even if it is just expressed by little things. Like the little logo on a track suit.

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© Cubadebate / Xinhua Press / Corbis Cuba – Havana – Fidel Castro – Memoir In this photo released on Feb. 4, 2012 by the state media website Cubadebate, former Cuban leader Fidel Castro participates the presentation of his memoir “Guerrilla Man of Time,” which related his experience from childhood to the end of December 1958, in Havana (CU), on Feb. 3, 2012.

Cover, German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, February 5, 2013 One year later, Fidel Castro (86) reappears talking over one hour with the press. He wears Lacoste and his bodyguards Adidas track suits.

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STREET

STREET

TYPOGRAPHY

IN HAVANA TYPO Slanted #21 – Street Typography

Andrea Tinnes � P 283 Ian Lynam � P 283

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Slanted #21 – Street Typography

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Slanted #21 – Street Typography

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DANIEL

DÍAZ MIlÁN CARLOS

SEGURA PABLO

A. MEDINA DANIEL CLAUDIO

SOTOLONGO Slanted #21 – S treet Typography

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Interviews

Daniel Díaz Milán Daniel Díaz Milán is a professor of typography at the Higher Institute of Design (ISDi) in Havana and therefore at the source of young Cuban talents. We wanted to know more about his profession and Cuban design from his point of view, so Markus Lange conducted this interview with him via email in December 2012. I believe we need to go a long way before we establish a t ypographic scene in Cuba Markus L ange What is your favorite place in your hometown (Havana)? Daniel Díaz For this question, I will not take the place where I work and where I spend most of my time, where I feel comfortable in developing my projects together with my colleagues, into account. I will tell you about a bar that I often visit, and that is called El Emperador. It is a very pleasant place, on the ground floor of the highest building in Havana, El Focsa. It is an urban building noteworthy for its practical design, which is why it has won so many prizes. Celebrated as one of the seven Cuban architectural wonders, it has become one of the city’s landmarks. This building also has another bar-restaurant in one of the upper floors, offering a splendid view of the city, but the place that I like most is the one on the ground floor. It is very cozy there, the treatment by the staff is very special, the drinks are well mixed, one is surrounded by an eclectic atmosphere of the 50s, and the bar is small, but one is not squashed. I’ve had pleasant moments there, which is why I keep coming back. There are few places in Havana where one can find a bar with such a cozy atmosphere; many of these spots are very touristy, and this one has a conventional style. When did you decide to become a graphic designer? I had a curiosity for drawing and for the plastic arts in general since childhood and found it easy to acquire certain practices. However, this was not the most important reason. When I did my high-school diploma, just one year before I began my university studies, I heard of the degree program Design. I began to inform myself about the tests I needed to pass in order to be entitled to this degree program even though I initially intended to embark on a completely different path (cybernetics, computer sciences), being strongly influenced by a high-school diploma in Slanted #21 – Interviews

exact sciences. Ironically, one of the reasons that influenced my decision was that the aptitude test for the Instituto Superior de Diseño (ISDi) [the Higher Institute of Design] took place a lot earlier than those for the other study programs, and at that time it simply consisted of a test evaluating the suitability and skillfulness. The mathematics and Spanish language exams, which one had to pass in other study programs, were not mandatory here. Thus, it was a lot easier; I only had to do this one (aptitude) exam and so I did it. But while I was waiting for the results, I investigated and gathered more information about this profession. It was then that I consciously developed a passion for this profession. I started to pay more attention to my wishes and what I really wanted for my future. Hence, when I heard of my admission, I had the biggest party of my life. It was very satisfying to know that I would dedicate myself to something I strongly identified with. Thus, I owe my profession to the convenience one seeks as a young person. What and who inspires you? Which type designer inspires you? Creative spaces grip me; I am fond of absorbing the talent of their creators. Therefore, I’m inspired from music, literature, dance, and sculpture to the discoveries of Albert Einstein or the conflicts of my Cuba. I find it difficult to determine the greatest inspiration of my life; I suppose it was my upbringing. It could be my family. In the area of design I of course have advantages, but it is also difficult since the more one discovers the more one looses track of the objective of one’s knowledge and many things seem to fuse into this endless cycle. I could say that I honestly admire Rubén Fontana, an excellent typographer and tireless typographic teacher. Certainly, the current typographic design in Latin America owes him a great deal. During my studies, I had the pleasure of meeting him while he was on one of his visits to Havana, and his lecture then opened my eyes to typographic design. It is needless to say that there are other designers, who also influenced me, and, thus, should not be missing from my list. I willingly trace their work, and they are a part of my knowledge: Adrian Frutiger, Erik Spiekemann, Alejandro Lo Celso, Matthew Carter, Zuzanna Licko, Neville Brody, and Hermann Zapf among others. Moreover, the classical designers, e.g. Claude Garamond, Juan Bautista Bodoni; they were personalities who invested lots of energy into type design and, therefore, their achievements are unsurpassable. The list could be longer because this truly is a handicraft with a long and profound history. What are your strengths? The urge to do this work spurs me on. I really don’t know where this enthusiasm comes from; maybe the profession of typographer is somehow linked to my being and my vision of life. If Daniel Díaz Milán � P 283

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Guantanamo Sentry Beneath Palms A sentry at Guantanamo Bay Naval Station, Cuba, stands guard under the shade of palm trees. Guantanamo Naval Base (CU), 1919 © CORBIS

CORBIS CUBA CRISIS

Lee Harvey Oswald Distributing Pro-Cuba Flyers Lee Harvey Oswald distributes Hands Off Cuba flyers on the streets of New Orleans, Louisiana. This photograph was used in the Kennedy assassination investigation. New Orleans, Louisiana (US), ca. 1962 © CORBIS

Slanted #21 – Typography / Photography

Corbis � P 284 Javier Fuentes, Jeroglificos � P 284

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Kennedy Holding Flag of Cuban Exiles President Kennedy displays the combat flag of the Cuban landing brigade, and declares to an audience of 40,000 that it “will be returned this brigade in a free Havana.” The brigade was quickly stopped by Castro’s army during the Bay of Pigs invasion. Coral Gables, Florida (US), January–April 1961 © CORBIS

John Kennedy Poster Poster hail Kennedy’s blockade action. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil: Within a few hours after the President Kennedy announced the military quarantine of Cuba via a nation-wide radio-television address October 29th, posters similar to the one shown above appeared suddenly all over this South American city. The sign states “Hail Kennedy, the Defender of the Americas.” In the background is Rio de Janeiro’s main rail terminal Central do Brasil. Rio de Janeiro (BR), November 5th, 1962 © Bettmann / CORBIS

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Portrait of Fidel Castro Militiamen Militiamen, fighters for the Castro regime during the Cuban Missile Crisis, train in hiding in the Escambray Mountains of Cuba in 1962 © Hulton-Deutsch Collection / CORBIS

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Corbis � P 284 Pablo A. Medina, Diablitos � P 284

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Carlos Segura, Marquer � P 284

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Carlos Segura, Jack Daniels � P 284 Corbis (right page) � P 284

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Cuban Soldiers Standing by Waterfront Cuban soldiers stand by an anti-aircraft artillery at the Havana waterfront in response to warning of an invasion from the United States. Havana (CU), 1962 © Bettmann / CORBIS

Raising the Wreck of the USS Maine Workers raise the wreck of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor, June 21, 1911. An explosion sank the Maine while it was anchored in the harbor in February 1898, killing 260 men. The United States declared war on Spain soon after. Havana (CU), June 6th, 1911 © CORBIS

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Pablo A. Medina, Cuba � P 284 Javier Fuentes, Jeroglificos � P 284 Juan c. Pagan, Novel Powell � P 285

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U.S. Fleet in Guantanamo Bay, 1927 © Bettmann  / CORBIS

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Corbis � P 284 Daniel Díaz Milán, Privilegio-Suceso � P 283

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RINCON

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Castán

Chang

Arien

RINCON

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Yoan Pablo Hernández

YOan

Yoan Pablo Hernández

All photos on this page by Photo Wende – WM Fight 2012, Frankfurt / Main Yoan Pablo Hernández vs. Steve Cunningham

I can travel to all countries of the world, but, unfortunately, not to Cuba

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Boxing in Cuba is very popular. However life is hard for most boxers there. That’s why Yoan Pablo Hernández, current IBF Cruiserweight Champion, left Cuba in 2005. Julia Kahl, big boxing fan, conducted this interview with Yoan in January 2013 to learn more about his relationship to Cuba. Julia K ahl Besides your titles and fights we were not able to find a lot information about you in advance. You were born in Cuba, boxed for the Cuban national team, and spent most of your professional fights in Germany. What were your reasons to leave Cuba and come to Germany? Yoan Pablo Hernández My situation was not good at that time. I had a very hard life and I wanted to help my family. In Cuba, I was not able to do so and, therefore, I wanted to be successful in Germany and create a better life for my family and myself. This was in 2005, when I stayed in Halle (Saale) DE, after the Chemiepokal. In socialist states much value was placed upon the ranking in international sports. Did you have privileges as a member of the Cuban national team? I don’t know whether you can call it privileges. It’s also a long time ago and I don’t remember exactly if this was the case or not. But I can say with certainty that I achieved everything I have and what I wanted to have through hard work. In my life nothing has been easy and, certainly, nothing was given to me. Cuban athletes are still very successful, such as in baseball, judo, or boxing. Despite the successes, many athletes flee abroad to continue their career. Why is this the case and what could Cuba change in order to keep its successful athletes? Many flee because they need money and to provide for their family, whether it is with food, clothes, or a decent roof over their heads. I’m not really able to make suggestions for improvements. I am not the president or the head of state. Thus, I’m not entitled to do so. These are questions that one must ask the state, not an athlete. You are currently living in Berlin. Please tell us something about your relationship to Cuba. Can you enter and leave the country without any problems? If so, when was the last time you were in your home country? I have not been there for eight years. I can travel to all countries in the world, but, unfortunately, not to Cuba, the country where I was born and grew up. I’m already looking forward to the day when I can finally re-enter it. Till then, all Slanted #21 – Interview

I can do is wait and continue to do what I do best, and that is boxing. From the viewpoint of such a contrasting country like Germany, how do you now perceive Cuba? Cuba is and remains my country of birth. So therefore I have a permanent connection to the country. Most of my family also still lives there. Everything I’ve learned, I learned there. It has made me to what I am today. Everyone has his or her own opinion to Cuba. Everyone can see that there is room for improvement. Since the beginning of the year, the departure is made easier for Cubans. How important do you think will this be for the sports in Cuba? The departure doesn’t have to do a lot with sports. This applies to everyone. I think that for the time being it won’t have a big effect. However, it is only a matter of time until the Cuban sport gets more and more professional structures and partners with the sports of other countries. In 2010, you played Joe Louis, the USAmerican boxer, in a film about Max Schmeling with Henry Maske. How was it to play one of the most successful heavyweight boxers of all time? Was it difficult to slip in the role of an actor? The most difficult thing for me was the language. I had to speak English, and my skills are not the best. So that was a real challenge for me, but one that I have enjoyed accepting. It was a great experience and I’ve definitely given my best. Of course, it was something completely new and I enjoyed it very much. When I found out that I was given the opportunity to slip into the role of a legend of my sport, I of course was thrilled. I’m a boxer and I know what a great man Joe Louis was. I will never forget this experience. What hopes do you have for Cuba? What wishes do you have for your own future? 

I hope for Cuba that the overall situation improves; that people can work without problems and enjoy their lives. For my family and myself, I simply wish good health, peace, a lot of tranquility, and time for us.

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INTERVIEW 10 × 10

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ISRAEL

YOSSI LEMEL

JAPAN

TAKASHI AKIYAMA

SWITZERLAND

NIKLAUS TROXLER

BRAZIL

USA

JEFF KLEINSMITH KIKO FARKAS

NETHERLANDS

HARMEN LIEMBURG

GERMANY

GUNTER RAMBOW

GERMANY

GÖTZ GRAMLICH

FRANCE

ANETTE LENZ

CANADA

ANDREW LEWIS

We asked 10 questions to 10 designers from all over the world about poster design. Read an interview with 100 answers from 10 different points of views.

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1

How do posters communicate?

unexpectedly on the street, grab him, irritate the eyes, inform, snub or even shock. Takashi Akiyama

ANDREW LEWIS

Posters in my mind must be able to communicate to any person, of any language, in any country on a universal level. That revelation came from being on a jury in Beijing with Korean typographer Ahn Sang Soo. In comparing posters designs on the same theme, it became obvious which ones were more successful than others. Posters that both of us could understand, by way of graphic elements and fused simple messaging even if it was in a different language, that communicated to both of us from very different cultural backgrounds Anette Lenz

Through the range of the vocabulary and the grammar of the visual language, which the designer commands and the observer understands. GÖtz Gramlich

Generally speaking only a good poster communicates. This requires that the observer in the street is immediately captivated by it, so that he / she stops still or at the next encounter will look at it more closely. Thus posters communicate because they arouse one’s curiosity. This can occur through a superb, unusual, brazen typography; a minimalist or overloaded design; a scandalizing picture; or through a thousand other things. The important thing is that the underlying creative idea is relevant to the content. This isn’t always easy since there is only one surface and instant in order to convey this. The simpler and more novel the idea the greater the impact of the poster. Gunter Rambow

As Goethe already said: “One only sees what one knows.” When striking images, texts or picture-texts are so compressed that they convey moments, which massively took place either in this or a similar form within their respective autobiographically influenced perceptual system, then the poster is communicating. The most important messages should be grasped within a quarter of a second. Harmen Liemburg

Potentially, at many different levels, yet much of the stuff out on the streets is sooo incredibly boring. Jeff Kleinsmith

They always try to get my attention. Kiko Farkas

I believe today posters communicate the very opinion or political position of the authors. You could also say that it is a self-expression media, a gallery piece. Niklaus Troxler

Posters are a very special communication medium. Nobody goes on the street to look at posters. Posters surprise the passersby Slanted #21 – Interview

Posters are printed on paper and therefore different from electronic media communication. In using materials like paper there is a charm and a presence of something that has been printed. Because the we feel that difference in refinement, our minds and hearts reflect at a different level. Thus, the medias communicate to us at a different level. Because posters make expressions through letters and iconography, they can establish simple, refined communication. Yossi Lemel

A poster is a visual trap that its main goal is to attract your attention and make you look, feel, think and act through all kinds of diverse techniques such as photo, illustration, typography and more, usually through two dimensions.

2

What makes a good poster?

Andrew Lewis

That could be a subjective question, in that we all have basic visual preferences and individual tastes. Yet, I believe a poster and a good poster, must be judged over a long period of time to prove whether it is not a result of a graphic trend or reflection of a current design process. That poster should also ignite an immediate response and create a fire in the imagination of the viewer. Being a timeless solution yet, at the same time creating a revolution and reaction is the zone of magic and making of a good poster! Anette Lenz

Would I also hang it up in my place, does it appeal to me, does it affect me? Three points are of importance: recognition, readability, and surprise in the discovery of novelty. Götz Gramlich

I don’t remember how often customers told me “A poster must also be conspicuous when driving by at the speed of 70!” Previously I used to easily react angrily to such comments and reply that a poster must awaken curiosity. It must provoke the observer and should be distinguished from the usual mainstream … Today I reply: exactly. However, we should define the word “conspicuous.” What does this mean? For me a good design must convey an emotion. A good poster is like a clever barker, but who can also keep his mouth. Gunter Rambow

Time and again it’s a mystery to me. During the last six decades I’ve experienced, that specific poster solutions, parallel to graphical, artistical and even photographical and typographical solutions, have achieved a greater international sphere of activity. These were based upon individual creative concepts and 10 × 10 � P 285

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Appendix Slanted #21 Translation �

Index

� Imprint

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P 42–46 Entrevista con Ingo Graf “El jazz es libertad, las marchas militares son la dictadura” —-—› Markus Lange Te hiciste famoso como cantante de Schlager (género musical alemán, que es una mezcla de música tradicional y música pop) en la RDA (República Democrática Alemana), bajo el nombre artístico de Ingo Graf. ¿A qué se debe este éxito? Ingo Graf Es muy fácil, en realidad no lo sé. Había una gala televisiva, en la RDA, muy famosa Talentbewegung, en la que actuaba regularmente como Hartwig Runge, y parecía tener éxito. De manera que, todos los años actuaba en otra serie televisiva Herzklopfen kostenlos, una especie de casting. En 1964 fue la final en Berlin. Toda la gala fue un gran encuentro alegre y también se retransmitió en directo a través de televisión. Ahí estaba yo, sentado al piano tocando mis piezas. Debí dar la impresión de tener la presencia y el carisma del yerno perfecto, ya que tras la gala recibí gran cantidad de cartas de fans. Entre ellas había una invitación de la discográfica Amiga. Así que, quedé con el jefe de producción y me dijo: “Hartwig Runge, eso no suena bien”. A mí, en ese entonces, me daba igual, solo quería ser famoso, y en seguida recibí una carta para el señor Ingo Graf en casa de Hartwig Runge. Claro que en la RDA eso iba a tener sus consecuencia. Poco después llamó a mi puerta el jefe de ideología del partido, que me dijo: “hemos desapoderado al terrateniente y ¡¿tú te llamas conde (Graf)?!” Y luego, quise actuar en televisión vestido con el traje de Alemania occidental, que me había mandado mi tía. Ésto no podía seguir así y tuve que reflexionar sobre las consecuencias. Por entonces, era profesor de matemáticas y física, y aparecieron mis dudas a cerca de lo que iba a hacer el Padre Estado conmigo. Llegó la primera gran actuación en el Friedrichstadtpalast, en Berlin. Entonces, fui a ver al jefe de Amiga, a explicarle toda la problemática, pero el se rió y dijo: “da igual, lo haremos de todas formas”. De vuelta a mi cuidad, por supuesto, estaba en boca de todos y tuve que atender al primer secretario. A mi sorpresa, él estaba entusiasmado y exclamó que por suerte la televisión era en blanco y negro, de manera que no se reconocía mi traje del Oeste. Así comenzó la carrera de Ingo Graf. —-—› ¿De qué manera llegaste a la música, tras ser profesor de matemáticas y física? Mi madre fue la mayor culpable de ésto. Ella tocaba el piano de forma increíble y me obligó a tomar clases durante dos años. Entonces vivíamos cerca de la estación de tren, cuando la gente bajaba yo me iba corriendo a la ventana abierta y comenzaba a tocar y cantar. De esta manera, ya desde pequeño tuve mi propio público y un escenario, sobre el cual actuaba regularmente. Ni siquiera, mientras estudiaba dejé de tocar el piano (sin partituras), sino que lo convertí en mi emblema. Así llamé la atención de manera favorable, y ello me gustaba bastante. Seguramente, no hubiese tenido tanto éxito sin esta egolatría o ingolatría, como lo llamaba adecuadamente una buena amiga de Berlin. Como artista tienes que estar convencido de ti mismo, sólo así mantienes la motivación para ser diferente. Aún siendo profesor de Matemáticas y Física me nombraron asistente de filosofía y los estudiantes me preguntaban que qué opinaba de la música del oeste y de la Radio Luxemburg. Desde mi ingenuidad, dije que me encantaba la música y que habían muchos artistas buenos. Sin embargo, tras pronunciar esas palabras, me dí cuenta que tenía que rectificarme, ya que sabía que intenciones perseguían los estudiantes. Pero, era demasiado tarde, me inhabilitaron y me trasladaron forzosamente, a la enseñanza de ciencias naturales. —-—› Aun así has conseguido la fama internacional, ¿cuál fue tu primer éxito? Fue una locura, porque la primera canción que produje en Amiga fue un canción del Oeste. Querían demostrar que los del Este podían cantar igual, y eligieron una canción de Rex Guildo, Bravo Bambina. Sin embargo, esta canción nunca la canté, ya que no iba conforme mi mentalidad, aunque a la gente le gustó tras escucharla en la radio. Antes de eso, en una gran fiesta de estudiantes, había cantado una canción, que se me entregó poco tiempo antes. Como no era muy bueno memorizando textos, sólo me acordé de la primera estrofa: “Melodie d’amour” y canté durante tres minutos solamente “Melodie d’amour …” La letra había

Slanted #21 – Translation

desaparecido de mi memoria y estuve tres minutos cantando mi canción, compuesta por la primera estrofa. Tras esta actuación, se acercó mi profesor de psicología, que estaba en el público y lo había visto todo. Me felicitó y me describió como “hombre de escenario”, porque de la nada podía hacer algo grande. —-—› Como cantante Schlager de la RDA estuviste en muchos países, ¿a qué se debió ésto? Ésto ocurrió por suerte y por pura coincidencia. Desde 1969 hasta 1972 le dí la espalda al negocio de la música. Lo deje todo pensando que había visto y vivido lo suficiente. Durante los 3 próximos años dirigí, como profesor, la gran orquesta escolar y estudié simultáneamente Ciencias de la Cultura. En 1972, recibí una telegrama de un agencia de artistas. Me preguntaron si tenía ganas de hacer un gira internacional. No sabía ni cuando ni donde, pero exactamente esto me interesaba y dije que sí. Me autodespedí de mi puesto, algo impensable por entonces, y así comenzó todo. Era la primera vez que iba a viajar a la URSS y a Berlin del Oeste. A Berlin del Oeste debía ir desde Erfurt con el Trabant y me llevé a Achim Menzel y crucé con él el Muro. Al llegar a la “Siegessäule” dijo: “Ingo, para el coche un momento”, y desapareció, dejándo a Ingo Graf como cómplice de su huida. Curiosamente, esta acción no tuvo consecuencias, y se habló entonces de hacer una gira por África y el Oriente Próximo. La RDA quería hacerse popular en el Mundo y abrirse políticamente. Fue un intento diplomático de abrirse al mundo. Trataban de acercarse a países tercermundista que mostraban tendencias socialistas. El Instituto Goethe, hacía esto para el Oeste, claramente a un nivel superior y de forma filosófica. Nosotros no teníamos esa filosofía y, por ello, teníamos que hacer arte menor pero efectivo. En todos los países fuimos atendidos por las embajadas e intentaban alimentarnos con especialidades alemanas: salchichas Halberstädter, ensalada de patatas y después tarta de fresas. Pero, generalmente, creo que nuestra “misión” fue abrir el camino para las oficinas políticas y miembros del gobierno. —-—› ¿Cómo llegaste a Cuba? En 1974 nuestra agencia nos mandó a Cuba. Viajamos por el país y dimos nuestros conciertos. Los periódicos estaban llenos de imágenes nuestras y, alguna que otra vez, también habían carteles. En La Habana, residíamos en el hotel Nacional. Por lo que en el archivo del Hotel, en un listado detrás de Frank Sinatra y la Mafia, se encuentra Info Graf. El sueldo nos lo pagaban en casa, ingresando Marcos de la RDA a nuestra cuenta. También en Cuba nos pagaban el alojamiento y la comida, además de darnos 10 Marcos cada día. —-—› ¡¿Dices que el jazz es la libertad y la marcha militar la dictadura?! ¿Cómo pega eso con Cuba? Cuba es totalmente diferente, es imposible imaginarse el ritmo y la libertad en el baile cubano. Cuando creces en una dictadura, necesitas años para meter el swing en tu piernas y en tu espíritu. Para nosotros no es tan fácil, hay que trabajarlo, o no te has criado con ello, sino se convierte en un socialismo fiel. Creo que en Cuba es esta libertad la que no deja al país rebelarse. La gente baila y disfruta del sol todo el año. ¡¿A lo mejor, sería diferente si hiciese frío y no hubiese playa?! —-—› Como cantante de Schlager, ¿cómo surgió la idea de coleccionar carteles cubanos? Durante todo mi viaje me llevé de cada país un pequeño souvenir. En Cuba era muy difícil, también porque no teníamos dinero. Pero enseguida me llamó la atención la propaganda artística y pensé que ser��a un souvenir original. Era fascinante mirar estos carteles. Ésto no existía en la RDA, ahí todos los mensajes de propaganda eran letras blancas sobre una tela roja. Habían pocas ocurrencias artísticas. Para mí, era un manera totalmente diferente de hacer política. Claramente, las metas eran las mismas, pero los medios eran visualmente más bellos. Me fui con muchas impresiones en formato pequeño, y pregunté si me daban los carteles actuales. Con un rollo gigante de carteles recién impresos volví a la RDA. Allí los coloqué en una esquina, hasta la caída del Muro, y participaron en innumerables mudanzas. —-—› Junto a Philipp Neumann del mzin Leipzig has hecho una exposición de los carteles. ¿Qué intención se encuentra tras ello? Tenía entonces ese rollo de carteles colocado en una esquina. Cuando me mudé a Leipzig y descubrí esa pequeña galería (mzin) de Philipp, los carteles volvieron a mi mente. Él les echó

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Index

Back Flap/ P 4–11 / P 18–24 / P 74–79 �

Photography: AM – PM, Cuba Año Cero, Ciudad Habana – Futuro Alejandro GonzáleZ, Havana (CU) alejandrogonzalez.wordpress.com

Cover / P 167–171 �

Artwork Cover: MALECÓN Interview: Through my art I am able to exist way longer as I actually live Eduardo Sarmiento, Miami FL (US) eduardosarmiento.com

Cuban-­American artist graduated from the Superior Institute of Design (ISDi), in Havana, with first class honors degree in Graphic Design and Illustration. His work has been published in The New York Times, Texas Monthly, ESPN, El Nuevo Herald, Miami New Times and Arte Cubano Magazine among others. Photo: Ketty Mora. Front Flap / P 25–27, 29, 30, 33, 34, 36 / 37 �

Photography: Raft – Politics, Farmers Michel Pou Díaz, Havana (CU) michelpou@gmail.com

Michel Pou, born in 1971, is a Cuban photographer. His work could be sorted between “I don’t understand anything” to “Why don’t …?,” he says. Michael has had numerous exhibitions in Cuba, Mexico, US, Spain and also in Germany. Front Flap �

Poster: Pasaporte Eduardo Marín, Havana (CU) Co author with Eduardo Moltó gmarin@infomed.sid.cu

Since 2005, González produces a photographic record of life in Cuba. He reflects on a reality that sometimes disrupts the official discourse. He shows a sector of society that somehow is silenced by the authorities and only represented as numbers in the population censuses. The photograph shows him things that he didn’t even know he knew and allows him to reflect on them. It not only serves to bring about memories but also to create a sort of mythology: the photographic truth of the world as it is now.

In 2003, Arien Chang Castán began to work as a documentary photographer. For seven years he worked primarily with black and white film. In the beginning, his work dealt with diverse themes such as urban landscapes, portraits, and various aspects of Cuban life. Yet all of this is a prologue to his current work. Inspired by the work of Cartier-Bresson, Sebastiao Salgado, Bruce Davidson, and Eugene Smith, Arien has developed a series that, in a certain way, reveals an alternate reality within the changing Cuban society. Later he began to work in digital photography and started using color as a means of expression.

The two graphic designers Philipp Neumann and Karen Laube founded MZIN in 2008 and offer a wide range of specific titles in the fields of graphic, design, typography etc. The project room puts on exhibitions from various fields. In 2010, they were able to show silkscreen posters from the collection of Ingo Graf a tour project room. Ingo Graf, GDRpop star, was in Cuba in 1974, during the Golden Age of Cuban Poster Art, and got himself a small collection. The Cuban poster is a familiar theme in graphic design (especially from the 1960s and 1970s); expressive, but simple in the technical and creative means. On the occasion of a new exhibition at the Freie Universität Berlin in July, a publication now exists which gathers all the posters – a poster consisting of all the posters. Reproduction of posters: Daniel Niggemann.

Photography: A Base de Viandas, Rincon Arien Chang CastÁn, Havana (CU) arienchangcastán.com

Slanted #21 – Index

P 17, 28, 31, 32, 35, 38–41 Posters: Kuba 74 MZIN, Leipzig (DE) mzin.de

P 12–16 / P 221–227

P 17, 28, 31, 32, 35, 38–41 / P42–46

Eduardo Marín, born in Havana in 1965, studied Graphic Design at the Instituto Politécnico de Diseño Industrial 1986-88. He has participated in exhibits all over the world. His work has also appeared in many publications. He is considered one of Cuba’s most audacious graphic designers.

Hartwig Runge (born 1938) is a German pop singer and composer, best known by the stage name Ingo Graf. As a local government politician for the PDS, Runge was a member of the city council of Leipzig from 1994 until 1999. Runge is a graduate philosopher and teacher of mathematics and physics. He worked as a mathematics teacher in Leipzig, where he was discovered by Heinz Quermann in the show Herzklopfen kostenlos of the GDR television in 1964. The song Versuchʼs noch mal mit mir (Try it again with me), composed by him, was a great success so that the record label Amiga produced the first single with him. In 1967, he acquired his own TV show called Schlager 19. In 1970, Ingo Graf resigned and from then on accompanied the Alfons Wonneberg Orchestra as a soloist, performing in approximately 30 countries. In the mid-1970s Ingo Graf ended his career and returned to teaching. In 2001, Ingo Graf celebrated in the television show Wiedersehen macht Freude of the MDR his comeback as a pop singer. He is married and lives in Leipzig.

Posters: Kuba 74 Interview: Jazz is Freedom, Marching Music is Dictatorship Ingo Graf, Leipzig (DE) mzin.de

P 47–49 / P 50 �

Essay: Chico & Rita – A film by Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal Interview: The “Bande Dessinée” Tradition Wolfgang Wick, Freiburg (DE) buero-magenta.de facebook.com/ChicoundRita ChicoundRita-Film.de koolfilm.de P

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P 52 / 53 / P 54 / 55 �

Wolfgang Wick works as a graphic designer in Freiburg and designed the printed matters of Chico & Rita for KOOL Filmdistribution in 2012. The Chico & Rita DVD with lots of extras – trailers, interviews, making of – can be ordered from koolfilm.de. Thanks a lot to KOOL Filmdistribution Germany for the use of drawings and of the film stills of Chico & Rita. Copyright: Estudio Mariscal and KOOL Filmdistribution. P 50 �

Interview: The “Bande Dessinée” Tradition Javier Mariscal, Barcelona (ES) mariscal.com facebook.com/ChicoundRita ChicoundRita-Film.de chicoyrita.com

Javier Mariscal is a Valencian Spanish artist and designer whose work has spanned a wide range of mediums, ranging from painting and sculpture to interior design and landscaping. He was born in February 1950 in the city of Valencia, Spain into a family of eleven brothers and sisters. Since 1970, he has been living and working in Barcelona.

Interview: Rapper do not laugh! Essay: Malecón Buena Vista Wolfgang Wick, Freiburg (DE) buero-magenta.de aventoura.de/malecon facebook.com/magenta.music youtube.com/magentasounds The CD Malecón Buena Vista is a current sampler on which young musicians from Havana introduce themselves. During a journey to Cuba the idea arose of introducing this new, young music of Cuba in Germany. The tour organizer avenTOURa supported this plan with the production of the CD Malecón Buena Vista. The project gives the participating musicians an opportunity which they are limited to in Cuba: to make themselves and their music known beyond the national boundaries. Wolfgang Wick initiated the music project and wrote the article about it. The intermediate headings are quotations from the song Qué tu dices, sung by Rositi-K and El más Kompleto, Company Yoruba, Havana. The sampler Malecón Buena Vista with 15 tracks and an extensive booklet with lots of photos, interviews and an essay of the Latin American editor Birgit Bienhaus can be ordered for 20 Euros (incl. postage in Germany) via bestellung@josfritz.de or at aventoura.de/malecon. Through the production and the sale of the sampler young Cuban musicians and the artist initative Muraleando in Havana are promoted. P 52 / 53 �

Interview: Rapper do not laugh! MARIO MC, Havana (CU) facebook.com/magenta.music

Sachie Hernandéz Machín is an independent curator of Cuban contemporary art. She is national coordinator of the Havana Cultura Visual Art Project’s residency program and commissary of some personal and collective exhibitions in Cuba and outside the island. She does historic researching about Cuban art and promotes Cuban artist’s art works. Between 2006 and 2010 she was Director from Servando Gallery in Havana and from the Visual Art Development Center, received the Brownstone Foundation Residency in Paris in 2009 and has been a jury member of several Cuban art events. She graduated in International Political Relation at the Superior Institute for International Relation Raúl Roa García in Havana, and she finished several post graduated courses in museography, curating, critic theory of culture and many more at Art History Faculty in Havana University. P 57, 61, 62 �

Illustrations: Blurred Tonel, Vancouver (CA) aetonel@yahoo.com

Tonel is a Cuban artist, art critic, and curator. His artworks have been featured in exhibitions in Cuba and worldwide since the 1970s. He has published numerous essays on contemporary Cuban art. His latest solo exhibition, The Journey (Talking Walls) opened at Factoría Habana, Cuba this past December. Photo: Yainet.

P 51 �

P 66–73

Essay: Happiness Frank Wiedemann, Berlin (DE) innercityvisions.com

Mario Delgado Sotomayor, known as Mario MC, was born in Havana in June 1976. Co-initiator of the community project Muraleando in Havana / Lawton and “idea provider” of the CD Malecón Buena Vista. For a long time, Frank Wiedemann, born in 1973, has been working as a freelance graphic designer in Karlsruhe. He has also been a part of einer von zwo-elf – a community of architects, graphic, media and product designers. Currently, he and Kristian Beyer are a publishing house and techno musicians under the name âme at the Berlin label Innervisions. Besides being a designer, he is internationally working as a DJ.

Slanted #21 – Index

Havana Today, Havana Cultura Randall Koral, Joinville-le-Pont (FR) havana-cultura.com subjective.com

P 56–60, 63–65 �

Interview: Cuban art has in all its sections a long tradition of social commitment Sachie Hernandéz Machín, Havana (CU) sachie72@gmail.com

Currently based in London, Randall Koral has worked as a newspaper reporter in California, as a magazine editor in New York, and as a filmmaker in Paris. His reporting assignments have included trips to active war zones in Azerbaijan, refugee camps in Mauritania, and yearly trips to Havana, Cuba. His writing is featured in several anthologies including White Rabbit: A Psychedelic Reader (Chronicle).

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the world of art, education and museums. Liemburg is obsessed with screen printing and uses the medium to create unexpected results. His style emphasizes the narrative aspect of images and the occasional beauty of everyday vernacular. Götz Gramlich studied communication design at the University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt from 1999 to 2005. During his studies, he worked at the studio Troxler in Willisau for two years. Currently, he lives and works in Heidelberg as a freelance designer. In addition to his professional activities, he is the founder and organizer of the international poster competition Mut zur Wut (courage to rage). Götz Gramlich lectured in seminars and workshops at schools of art and design in Amiens, Karlsruhe, Mannheim, Paris, Stuttgart, Harare, Johannesburg, Chengdu, Hangzhou and Hong Kong. P 236–247 �

Interview: 10 × 10 Gunter Rambow, Güstrow (DE) gunter-rambow.de

Gunter Rambow was born in 1938 in Neustrelitz (DE). He grew up in the postwar communist German Democratic Republic. In 1954 he moved to the West, where he was trained as a glass painter prior to entering the graphic department of the Academy of Art and Design in Kassel where he later teached for almost two decades as professor for graphic design and visual communication. He is one of the few remaining poster designers with political edge. The use of the human body in his work is satirical, humorous, inquizative and overall eye-catching.

P 236–247 �

Interview: 10 × 10 Jeff Kleinsmith, Seattle (US) kleinsmithdesign.com

Born in Willisau (CH) in 1947. Own design studio since 1973. Initiator and organizer of Jazz in Willisau. Winner of many national and international design awards. Exhibitions in the USA, South America, Asia and Europe. His posters are represented in the most important design collections. Professor at the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design since 1998. Lives in Willisau and Berlin. P 236–247 �

Co-owner of Patent Pending Design and New Rage Records; former art director at The Rocket Magazine and has been Sub Pop Records’ art director for over 18 years! All the while, making hundreds and hundreds of posters and album covers for as many bands. Kleinsmith’s work has appeared in numerous publications, and in various gallery shows, and has work in permanent collections. Jeff teaches advanced design at Seattle’s School of Visual Concepts and he has a client list that includes, among others, Dreamworks, Columbia Records, Elektra Records, Wired, and Nike. Jeff was named one of the 40 most influential designers by ID Magazine and one of the 25 most important people in Seattle. A monograph is in the works but no official publishing date has been set. P 236–247 �

Interview: 10 × 10 Kiko Farkas, São Paulo (BR) kikofarkas.com.br

Interview: 10 × 10 Takashi Akiyama, Tokyo (JP) artas1.com/takashi_akiyama

Human beings have always been visual communicators, progressing from pictographs to letters and from letters back to pictures. Illustration continues to develop as an attractive, charming, and poignant method of expression throughout all types of media as “illustration art.” However, the fact that illustrations can be understood at a glance makes them capable of filling in the blind spot for all languages. Humankind’s thoughts and ideas have been carved into history through countless words and images. These “visual messages” still appeal to us today, transcending space and time. Sometimes easy to miss, the significant role that illustration has played throughout history and all its accomplishments must be recognized. Illustration is an important “man-made” technology, and a vital part of our human culture.

P 236–247 �

Interview: 10 × 10 Harmen Liemburg, Amsterdam (NL) harmenliemburg.nl

En route to becoming an artist and design journalist, Harmen Liemburg (born 1966) started his career as a cartographer. To keep his appetite for graphic representation alive, he sought a larger menu of expression. He went to the Gerrit Rietveld academy and became a member of a new breed of designers, one that is closely linked to

Slanted #21 – Index

The fundamental tools for Kiko’s work are his drawings and his passion for color. Although the creative freedom for using anything that cross his way is a characteristic of his design. Máquina Estúdio’s creations are well balanced, very understandable and never unreadable. But most of all, Kiko is very fond of beauty and wit to achieve his goals as a graphic designer. The posters Kiko created for the São Paulo Symphony orchestra were shown at exhibitions all around the world and redefined the contemporary Brazilian poster scene. P 236 – 247 �

Interview: 10 × 10 Niklaus Troxler, Willisau (CH) troxlerart.ch

P 236–247 �

Interview: 10 × 10 Yossi Lemel, Tel Aviv (IL) lemel.co.il

Yossi Lemel was born in 1957 in Jerusalem (IL). He is a political poster artist, creative director a lecturer and a teacher, graduated and taught at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. Lemel had 18 solo exhibitions in different cities all over the world.

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Slanted #21 – Imprint Index

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ADC of Europe 2010, 2008 ADC Germany 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008, 2007 Annual Multimedia 2008, 2013 Berliner Type 2008 (Bronze), 2009 (Silver) Designpreis der BRD 2009 (Silver) European Design Awards 2011, 2008 Faces of Design Awards 2009 iF communication design award 2007 Laus Awards 2009 Lead Awards 2008 (Weblog des Jahres), 2007 red dot communication design awards 2008 Type Directors Club NY 2011, 2008, 2007 Werkbund Label 2012 � Acknoledgement

The Slanted Cuba Issue could not have been realized without the enthusiasm and support of so many people – with their help, heart, encouragement, advice and plenty of stories. We first would like to thank all contributors: Alberto GR and Misas, Alberto Nodarse, Aldo Amador, Alejandro González, Alejandro Pérez Álvarez, Alejandro Rodríguez, Alfredo G. Rostgaard, Andrea Tinnes, Andrew Lewis, Anette Lenz, Anna Berkenbusch, Antonio Fernandez, Antonio F. Reboiro, Antonio Pérez (Ñiko), Arien Chang Castán, Arnulfo Espinosa, Asela Pérez, Artísdes Hernández (Ares), Carlos Segura, Carlos Zamora, Claudio Sotolongo, Concepción Robinson (Coni), Damián Viñuela, Daniel Cruz, Daniel Diaz Milán, Darwin Fornés, Dr. Jorge L. Tejero García, Edel Rodríguez, Edel Rodríguez (Mola), Edmund Clark, Eduardo Marín, Eduardo Moltó, Eduardo Muñoz Bachs, Eduardo Sarmiento, Eladio Rivadulla Martínez, Enrique Martínez,

Slanted # 21 – Index

Eric Silva, Ernesto Ferrand, Ernesto Oroza, Ernesto Padrón, Ernesto Romero, Esteban Ayala Ferrer, Eufemia Álvarez, Fabián Muñoz, Faustino Pérez, Félix Beltrán, Fernando Bencomo, Frank Luca, Frank Wiedemann, Finlay Asher, Gabriel Lara, Giselle Monzón, Götz Gramlich, Gunter Rambow, Harmen Liemburg, Hartwig Runge, Héctor Villaverde, Heike Hertwig, Helena Serrano, Ian Lynam, Idania Del Río, Ivana Rodríguez, Jeff Kleinsmith, Jorge González, Jorge Dimas, Jonathan M. Hansen, José Alberto Menéndez (Pepe), José Toirac, Juan Carlos Pagan, Kedgar Volta, Ken Johnston, Kiko Farkas, Laura Llópiz, Lisbet Córdoba, Luis Vega de Castro, Luis Rodríguez (Noa), Lylymarlen de Leganza, Mario Delgado Sotomayor, Marla Cruz Linares, Meira Marrero, Michel Corría, Michel Pou, Michele Miyares Hollands, Miguel A. Navarro, Miguel Leiva Pérez, Nelson Ponce, Niklaus Troxler, Nudo, Olivio Martínez, Oniel Díaz Castellanos, Pablo A. Medina, Pablo Monterrey, Paul Whitney, Pedro Contreras Suárez, Pedro J. Abreu, Philipp Neumann, Pilar Senz Roncalés, Randall Koral, Raúl Martínez, Raúl Oliva, Raúl Valdes (Raupa), René Azcuy, Ricardo Reymena, Roberto Ramos (Robertiko), Rodolfo Javier García, Roilán Marrero, Sachie Hernández Machín, Sandra Levinson, Sara María Vega Miche, Sylvio, Takashi Akiyama, Tony Évora, Umberto Peña, Vicki Gold Levi, Vladimir Llaguno, Wolfgang Wick, Yaimel López Zaldívar, Yoan Pablo Hernández, Yossi Lemel. A very special thanks goes to Natalie Seisser from Paris: It was her idea to publish a book about Cuban Poster Art. She looked for a publisher at the London Book fair in 2012 and met by coincidence our friend, the photographer Horst A. Friedrichs (love you!) who told her to get in touch with us in Karlsruhe. By chance Lars already had planned a trip to Cuba last summer. Her considerable help and research, her work and experience as well as her friendship to most of the Cubans presented in this issue, made this project possible. She opened a lot of doors and her assistance given during the making of this project was more than impotent. A huge thank you to lovely Giselle Monzón Calero and Michele Miyares Hollands from Cuba. They showed Lars the real side of Cuba and introduced him to a lot of their wonderful friends in Havana. It was a pleasure to see Giselle here in Germany in December 2012 to work with her on the poster art section, eating tons of chocolate! We would like to express our gratitude to the lovely curator Sachie Hernández Machín who introduced us to a bunch of great Cuban photographers and artists. We will never forget this afternoon in her tiny, hot studio in Havana, admiring the incredible pictures of Arien, Michel and Alejandro. It was a pleasure to see her later at the Freies Museum Berlin where she curated the exposition Chapter I. Gulliver. Her help and advice were tremendous.

Thanks also to Corina Marozzi and François Renie from Havana Club International, who are engaged in supporting and promoting contemporary Cuban art – both within and beyond the island’s borders – and who supported this issue. Many thanks to Wolfgang Wick for his special handprinted artwork, the Reggaetón-CDs and link to avenTOURa and Mariscal’s Chico & Rita. We would like to express our deep gratitude to Falko Gerlinghoff and Markus Lange, both students at Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle, who designed the magazine’s pages We cannot thank them enough for their generous work, incredible patience, tremendous enthusiasm and neverending creativity. The wonderful typefaces in the magazine were all provided by Colophon foundry – thanks a lot for this support! Thanks to Ahmed Badran (Iggesund Paperboard), Frank Kappl (IGEPA group), Rolf B. Schlee (Papierfarbrik Schoellers­ hammer) and Sylvia Lerch (SYLVIA LERCH Material & Produktion) for their paper support, Markus Gruber (gruber druck) for printing and finishing this wonderful cover, Joachim Schweigert and the team of E&B engelhardt und bauer for their efforts and the perfect printing of the magazine’s inside! Finally we must acknowledge Sebastian Tiede for creating the crowdfunding website (slanted.de/cuba). Not to forget to mention Felix Spohn from ZigarrenWelt.de for pledging 500,- Euro in our crowdfunding. And, by this way, express our gratitude to all those who supported this project long before its release.

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La Isla Editorial En Peso (Fragmentos) de Virgilio Piñera, 1968

La maldita circunstancia del agua Fall por todas partes Revolution or evolution? or rise? Whorehouse or me obliga a sentarme en la mesa del café. paradise? Cola or guarapo? Marlboro or Cohiba? Beans or Si no pensara que el agua me rodea como un cáncer lobster? Freedom or Guantanamo? Track suit or tie? hubiera podido dormir a pierna suelta. Internet or carrierse pigeon? Salsa Old-timer or Turbo? Mientras los muchachos despojaban deor susrap? ropas para nadar future-lab? Work none? Hope or exile? Or doceMuseum personasor morían en un cuarto poror compresión. Cuando a laof madrugada la pordiosera en el agua a mix all of these queries?resbala It’s different than we think – en elmuch precisomore momento en que se lava unoand de sus complicated, deep fullpezones, of twists and me acostumbro al hedor del puerto, turns. The template will not fit. The closer we approach the me acostumbro a la misma mujer que invariablemente masturba, island, the more contours it reveals. The deeper we go into noche a noche, al soldado de guardia en medio del sueño de los peces. the streets ofpuede Havana, backyard workshops and homes, Una taza de café no alejar mi idea fija, meet people, talk, read, watch movies, take in photos and en otro tiempo yo vivía adánicamente. ¿Quéstudy trajo la metamorfosis? posters … the clearer it becomes: Cuba is elusive.

Many Cuban art works reveal our social and cultural

La eterna miseria que es el acto de recordar. hybridity and pluralism – despite political appearances. Si tú pudieras formar de nuevo aquellas combinaciones, As curator Sachie Hernández says, Cuban art today is devolviéndome el país sin el agua, “our populism, me laabout bebería todainclusive para escupir al cielo. lack of hierarchies in many postulates related the Revolution, the unity, Perovalues he vistoand la música detenida en las to caderas, he visto las negras bailando con vasos de our ron en sus cabezas. theamother home and the Cuban; natural cohabitation Hay que del lecho conand la firme convicción withsaltar different times spaces; our appetite for many de que tus dientes han crecido, things that comes from abroad; our peripheral conscioude que tu corazón te saldrá por la boca. ness,enbut our el pride and del ability to flirt with and charm Aún flota los also arrecifes uniforme marinero ahogado. thesaltar centers of power every nowmayor and then.” Hay que del lecho y buscar la vena del mar para desangrarlo.

Therefore, straight away – the warning: this twenty-first edition of Slanted illuminates Cuban art and has the promising title “The New Generation.” The light is directed to dazzling artists of hope for a new Cuba.

The Whole Island, translated by Mark Weiss, Shearsman Books, 2010 Artwork cover: MALECÓN The curse of being completely surrounded by water condemns me to this café table. If I didn’t think that water encircled me like a cancer I’d sleep in peace. In the TheitMalecón is boys a broad esplanade, roadwaytwelve and seawall protect time that takes the to strip for swimming peopletohave diedHavana of the from the the so-called Nortes, butin inthe reality, it wound up serving more for bends.water Whenand at dawn the woman who begs streets slides into the water, nighttime promenades Habañeros andmyself lovers.toItthe alsostench faces of Florida - just 90 miles precisely when she’s washing abynipple, I resign the harbor, north. The majority the nearly 1 million Cuban exiles in the United States to her jacking off the sentryofevery night while thecurrent fish sleep. A cup of coffee live in the or around Eduardo Sarmiento one of them. Hecaused createdthe the cover won’t dispel fantasyMiami. that once I lived in edenic is innocence. What artwork of thismisery issue in in Havana and printed it (silkscreen 50the × 70 cm) in 2012 change? The eternal of2002 memory. If a few things were different and incame St. Louis. himwaterless, it is a political / social / personal statement: “When I made country backFor to me I’d gulp down that misery to spit back at the the poster I thought 100 % about the idea of ablack paperwomen ship leaving island. Now sky. But I have seen music lingering in the hips, seen dancethe balancing seerum it both ways,heads. the ship that leaves and the ship that goes to the island. glassesI of on their It makes you want to jump out of bedback convinced Theteeth Nation is not complete. are not complete. There fragmentation that your have grown, that atFamilies any moment your heart will leap is from everywhere. We had cut the star sailor to make ship and get to your mouth. The uniform ofto the drowned stilla floats on then the reef. It know makesthe world. It istonot anyout partofofbed theand flag, it isthe themain star vein that of means theand purity of ideals.” you want jump find the sea bleed it dry.



Slanted Magazine #21: CUBA – The New Generation