For Havana Biennial me and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen make a new work: 9 CARTUCHOS – Paper Bag Stories From Cuba. For the piece we commissioned local professional writers and thinkers to write a speech about Cuba from their particular point of view – using a paper bag as a reference point. An edition of 9 paper bags with excerpts of each of the 9 speeches were printed on 100.000 bags. The bags are distributed over the period of the biennial to vegetable markets and small grocery stores around Havana to be given out to people. Thus the artwork is slowly distributed to many households of the city. The full length speeches can be listened at the Havana biennale exhibition.
The simple paper bag can be a curious interrogator of histories, politics, economics and, conflicts of a global scale. In Cuba paper bags mean both past and the future: paper bags – or cartuchos as they were called – were an important object of daily live but exchanged with plastic bags after the Soviet Union collapsed. In a reversal of history Cuba has just recently promised to abandon plastic bags in the future.
The writers: Juan Triana, Maikel José Rodríguez, Isdanny Morales, Mario Castillo, Roly Ávalos & Alex Díaz, Modesto Díaz, Orlando Hernández, Israel Castellanos and Hilda María Rodríguez. We are happy to have also drawings of Ibrahim Miranda as part of the paper bag design of Orlando Hernández.