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Lázaro Saavedra

The Last Supper

2004

The artist lays out a path and offers us a poetical meta-history that exhibits a visceral vision of the world.

This play is a reflection on the (im)possibility of accepting diversity and the other. The fragmented body of the neoplasm—the fruit of unstable conditions—overcomes barriers, loves and denies itself and others, wanders around, forgetting its profession. It frequently and with pleasure divides, goes through dangerous palpation, questions the possibility of contact with the experience of the other. Poorly brought up but very successful, it invites us to a trans-species transition.

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With The Last Supper, Lázaro Saavedra has conceived an unexpected lesson on this ubiquitous icon. In his contemporary de-divinization, he fixes his gaze on the history of Christianity to graft fragments of its sociopolitical context. We are eyewitnesses to irreparable errors. Lázaro gives movement to the deeds of weak and malleable human beings who have acted as servile automatons, without realizing the gravity of their actions.

Saavedra focuses his critical eye on phenomena like the disintegration of a political ideology, the loss of moral bearings, and the seriousness of recent historical events. Treason and lies form a loud new alliance to obscure the facts -- truths that then get passed on by word of mouth on the street, take their place in the archives of our hidden history, and form part of our collective memory.

Through digital elements, Saavedra finds the capacity to capture the avatars of people in their present-day habitat, where setbacks and the basic precariousness of life pose different threats. His animations inhale the anarchy of appropriation, questioning all manipulative orthodoxies be they political, religious, or social. Like the doubting apostle Thomas, Saavedra puts his finger on the wound, an eternal wound that never heals.

It all revolves around the challenge of creation and artistic vitality in times of emergency. With Last Supper, Saavedra lays out a path and offers us a poetical meta-history that exhibits a visceral vision of the world. The worse the crisis, the more coherently and organically his discourse flows, revealing a manner of creating that embodies art and ethics, a commitment and a strategy for survival. - Magda Ileana González-Mora, Curator

The twelve apostles in Saavedra’s Last Supper are each represented by a television monitor and a DVD player and are arranged around a clear plastic table according to the seating plan of Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous painting in Milan. The televisions and DVD players have no cases except for that of Judas, which still has its cabinetry. Jesus is represented by a generator — the source of power. The videos are a montage of images of Cuba, elderly people eating, and religious symbols, often referring to the specific apostle. The image of an electric cable in each work symbolizes the transfer of power from Jesus to the disciples as well as to the red wine turned into blood. Judas’s video also shows poignant images of children drowned in attempts to get to the United States in the 1990s, accompanied by audio of the Agnus Dei from Mozart’s Requiem.

Exhibition

New Installations, Artists in Residence: Cuba, October 3, 2004 – April 24, 2005
About The Artist

Lázaro Saavedra was born in Havana, Cuba in 1964 where he lives and works. He graduated from the Instituto Superior de Arte, Havana. Saavedra's practice combines pictorial work with performances, happenings, and video installations amongst other modes of expression.

More from this Artist

More from this Exhibition

El camino de la incertidumbre (The Uncertain Road)

In God We Trust/America’s Most Wanted

Pensamiento

Habitat

Noche de fantasía

Landscape

Un Libro escrito por dentro y por fuera: Where is Luis Gómez?

Sentimiento

Impotence

Memorias acumuladas

March without Perspective

Thought

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