Cubiertas de deseos, 2008-2019
Serie CUBIERTAS DE DESEOS
Covered in Wishes Series
Video / 2:14 min / 2008-2010
Photography / Variable Dimensions
Video – Installation / Collection
Antique Russian Stamps Book / This includes a collection of images of the same residences, photographed at different times in Havana.
2008 – 2019
Havana is one of the most picturesque cities on the American continent. Whatever the architectural style that characterizes its houses, their appearance is defined today by the way inhabitants embellish them.
Such embellishments have become a common practice in Cuba in different fields; it provides practical solutions to challenges presented by a common need for remedy. They offer a way to take advantage of circumstances, to squeeze the most from that which has nothing more to give. Embellishing is an aesthetic of the unstable that endeavors to resolve the moment.
“Cubiertas de deseos” (Covered in Wishes) is a project that Grethell Rasúa started in 2008 in Havana, where she photographed several facades in Cuba, capturing the color changes and decorative modifications made to them over time. Most of these houses were destroyed on the inside and suffer from serious construction problems. Unable to move out or renovate their homes, owners stay there for decades against their will. Nevertheless, they maintain their thirst for improvement and concentrate on beautifying their home’s facades with colors and resources that, although not ideal, grant the illusion of having found a better home.
Covering gaps, covering dirt with colors and decorations one has at hand, hiding the errors, and trying to create a pleasant appearance result in a special visuality. This precarious image is revealed as a metaphor in its natural state. The urban environment reflects and is conditioned by behaviors such as these, which are formulated as subsistence mechanisms that define an era. Cover in Wishes collects a self-service that has happened as a cultural phenomenon.