¡Patria o Libertad! ANTUAN:‘Left or Right’

ANTUAN, ‘Left or Right’, 2010 Video, 5:00. Courtesy the artist
 
September 9 – October 30, 2011
MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY CANADIAN ART

Eight red punching bags are hanging from metal hooks, each wearing the portrait of a politician. The background suggests a poor neighbourhood where working class people live. The artist ANTUAN is from Cuba where most buildings are badly maintained. So it could be anywhere, in Havana, in any town or in the countryside. The colours of the bags refer to communism, the red flag of the Soviet Union, and the countries it dominated, Cuba being the last one standing.

The politicians painted on the bags come from the left and the right (as the title of the video hints) representing the people’s options. A man comes into this arena and starts to punch the faces on the bags. He punches and punches them harder and harder until sweat is running down his face and his knuckles become red.

Coming from a communist country I know this feeling of anger from experience. I tried the punching too. But still my question remains: after all this fighting, who is getting hurt?
Emese Krunák-Hajagos
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

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