critical texts


A city for blind people: Arturo Montoto
A city for blind people: Arturo Montoto

From March 23 to May 3, in the temporary exhibitions hall of the Museum of Colonial Art, located in the central Plaza de la Catedral in La Habana Vieja. Collateral exhibition to the 9th Havana Biennale.

This collection includes installment, video and performance. It implies an appropriation of his own known pictorial work related to the subject of the city landscapes. Only that this time the possible spectators of his work will be the sightless people invited to this event to discover through Braille alphabet the other city represented by Montoto and which the sighted person could see through a continuous video.

This project has the collaboration of the Workshop of handicapped persons of the Guanabacoa municipality, of the Cultural and Recreational Center of the ANCI, of the signals workshop of the Havana City Historian Office, of the Museum of Tiflología of the ONCE in Spain and of the companies ETECSA, Michelin and Peugeot in Cuba.

Arturo Montoto has declared in regards to this individual exhibition that “...This Ciudad para Ciegos is two times ambiguous because breaks away the writing environment from the figures environment; but it also draws the supposed abyss between the representation and its admitted significance. This ambiguity takes place for the sighted person, who can not escape from the “reading” predisposed in the images, before which he is frustrated in this project. This is not the case of the sightless, who can guide us now to find a way out of this labyrinth of verbal descriptions, thee only instrument the intention of which is the evocation of an imaginary, in a city neither them nor us can see.

In every representation, space and time have a figurative meaning. For the sightless are an appeal to the memory of the vision they once lost or to the imaginary addition built by other senses we can not understand.

As in every writing, here the author will be absent and the eyes will not be necessary to understand it. Reading is somehow a way of forgetting. You do not see a text; you read it and you forget it, because its meaning prevails. This city will be for the sightless the city he will not be able to go through without facing the dangers of believing he is in a real city; it will be a represented city, like ours; not a given one.