LA HABANA: ENIGMA OF THE RUINS
Author: Dennys Matos
I.The Greco Latin Ruins were some of the fundamental fountains of inspiration, of the Romantic Movement. The writers as much as the artists and the architects served themselves from them, not just for the esthetic inspiration, but also for the philosophical and historical reflection and in general, socio-culturally.
In La Habana: Enigma of the Ruins, 2012 Guillermo Portieles proposes a reinterpretation in a poetic key, of the centennial ruins of the Caribbean capital. A project where the author, taking expressive tools of the esthetics of artistic conceptualism and the land art movement, documents ruinous edification's situated in the central perimeter of the City of Havana.The project was generated in successive trips to the city, it is composed of eleven photographs intervened through a variety of techniques and mediums, (painting, charcoal etc).
Within the ideas that the project of Portieles articulates, he distinguishes the reflection over how the ruins result, from a complex of natural forces that delimit, in a prime moment.The historic period of man over nature, his habitat transforming the present into the past, in tracing dwellings and forms of living, into memories of human remains.
In this manner, the ruins, apart from their history also acquire as a consequence of this esthetic reflection, an artistic charm, since they add a natural touch to the human work.
II. For Simmel "Architecture is the only art that settles with authentic peace, the grand contest between the will of the spirit and the necessities of nature, in which are resolved in an exact equilibrium, the adjustment of accounts between the soul which tends to the above and the gravity which pulls towards the below. In this being, architecture then represents the challenge of man towards nature and it is as if she were daring man amid the ruins. For Portieles, this implicates more of the re-weighing the cultural (tropos) of the ruin, from the relation between the elements of the material history of man.
That is to say, think of it from a species of poetic dialog and (a duel) between nature and architecture, as the material history of civilization.