Hyphen Hub Salon: The Little Island | Javier Castro and Hans Herzog

When: May 26, 2022

Time: 6:00 pm Doors | 6:45 pm salon

Location: Chelsea, NY 10011

For this Salon, we departed from our usual programming of new media artists and performers. We were very honored to present groundbreaking filmmaker Javier Castro, who uses video and multimedia installations to explore the human experience and modes of survival.

Castro examines Cuban contemporary society by presenting a unique perspective of diverse realities: from pleasures and frustrations to vices and violence, language and love, and other hidden complexities of life. He allows the human voice within the work to speak directly to the viewer without manipulating or judging his subjects. The “Little” Island is a title chosen to signify the small territory that Cuba holds, but at the same time, it is a play on words due to its geopolitical importance. And while blessed with natural beauty—Cuba boasts the largest expanse of unharmed reefs, swamplands, and rainforest, as well as the greatest diversity of plants, birds, and marine species in all of the Caribbean—a variety of factors have come into play to make the island nation one of the poorest countries and most dystopian in the world, where everyday Cubans must live in survival mode, making this a magical land but also a mental and physical trap for many. For this presentation, Javier created a site-specific installation with multiple projection screens and talked about his work.

We also had the opportunity to listen to our other special guest: art historian, critical writer, and curator Hans Herzog. Hans has been the advisor and creator of some of the most prestigious collections in Europe and South America of mostly contemporary Latin American art including the Daros collections in Zurich and Rio de Janeiro where for many years he was the founding director. Hans and Javier had an informal discussion about the artist’s work, and engaged in a lively discussion with the audience, in the context of the current global social and political arena and discussed some of the potential repercussions for Cuba and other nations that have become so dependent on Russia.