YOAN CAPOTE’S COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS
By Naomi Barling
Exploring the history and distinctive ways in which communal social experiences influence an individual is the inspiration for Collective Unconscious the new solo exhibition by Yoan Capote. The exhibition will be the artists second at the Jack Shainman Gallery and will be running from May 28, 2015 to July 10, 2015.
Yoan Capote was born in Pinar del Rio, 1977 he lives and works in Havana, Cuba. In 1991 he left the Provincial School of Art and went on to graduated from the National School of Art (ENA) Havana, Cuba in 1995 before attending the Higher Institute of Art (ISA) till 2001. He then worked as a Professor of Visual Art at the Higher Institute of Art (ISA) till 2003.
The idea of the past as a tightly wound narrative is a reused theme in Capote’s work. Laboratorio shown in 2012 became a realization when the artist began collecting photographs of large crowds gathering at political events. He became intrigued by the subjectivity of photography and how each image is a fabricated ideal of history.
Drawing on psychiatrist Carl Jung’s claim that a person’s behavior and thoughts uphold an unconscious link with their past and its standards, Capote explores his Cuban nationality. In these recent works, he investigates cultural symbols, exposing their fractures and their inherent contradictions, asking the viewer to reconsider the acceptance of history as absolute truth.
Dismantling history in order to understand and reinvent it is also one of the concepts in Capote’s work titled Immanencia, 2015. This was a giant bust of Fidel Castro constructed from thousands of door hinges, originally sourced from Havana buildings. The work is a monumental consideration of Cuba’s political past.
This installation features flasks and petri dishes placed on a table with a variety of other chemistry equipment, representing a determined science experiment that has been abandoned and long forgotten. Upon close examination, images are visible across the glass surfaces where photographs documenting political events have strategically been printed. In Capote’s work, history is often expressed as a process, just like any other, laced with manipulation, error, and control.
Many of the works in the exhibition highlight how those in power have overwhelmingly shaped history, however Capote does leave space for optimism. Like with the door hinges in Immanencia and Cuba’s political past, what was once closed can be opened. Collective Unconscious aim to give hope, because if history is a impressionable concept, then it is up to us as individuals to delve into the collective and rescue the story and our own history going forward. Jack Shainman Gallery as will be showing these works from May 28, 2015 to July 10, 2015.