Páginas by Cuban artist Tatiana Mesa (1981, Havana) is the third presentation of the cycle The Story Behind curated by Direlia Lazo.
A meaningful aspect of Tatiana Mesa’s practice revolves around the idea of Objet Trouvé. Her sensitivity to things visible and commonly unnoticed in the spaces of the ‘outdoors’ and the ‘public’ has generated a body of work ranging from collecting abandoned or forgotten objects then classified and / or reconstructed to placing personal items in specific places of the city. In Escritura del instante (2003-2011), for example, Mesa reconstructed hundreds of letters from fragments found over time. In another example of her work, Gabinete de arqueología (2009-2010), the artist re-walks routes familiar with her personal history, like the roads she took as a child to get from home to school or vice versa, as well as other ordinary daily tracks reminiscent of those undertaken by specific members of her family. During each journey she selects objects that inhabit these spaces in an attempt to re-construct a present time from past experiences.
Both pieces, among other actions in the city, are predecessors of Páginas, the series presented here. In this case the objects have been -found as a result of a specific search. Objects that belonged to women (buckles, shoe fragments, broken heels, cigarette ends with lipstick traces, fake nails); heart-shaped objects (chewing gum, tree leaves, crumpled paper, coral); objects of nature (soil, insects, stems, stones); fragments of walls, among others. Each item is placed in transparent plastic bags with written references to the place and the date of the finding. Páginas is an autobiographical journey through the city of Havana, which maps poetically a city of waste. This is a work full of covert stories whose anonymity is replaced by Mesa’s personal experience and her ‘meeting’ with those objects.
Tatiana Mesa lives and works in Miami. Recent solo exhibitions include: El Texto como Vestigio, Pabellón Cuba, Havana (2013); Gabinete, Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales, Havana (2013); Libro: Memoria de un Gesto II, Festival Internacional de Poesía de La Habana, Casa de la Poesía (2010); Libro: Memoria de un Gesto I, Academia de San Alejandro, Havana (2008). Recent group shows include: Abierto, Centro Provincial de Artes Plásticas y Diseño, Havana (2013); Lost in Translation, Gonzales Hulshof, Amsterdam (2012); Convergencias, Academia de Bellas Artes San Alejandro, La Habana (2012); Academia de Bellas Artes San Alejandro, Collateral Event 11th Havana Biennial (2012); Una Exposición sin Espectadores, Infanta y San Lázaro, Collateral Event 11th Havana Biennial (2012); Mujeres Artistas del Futuro, Sección de Intereses de los EE.UU, Havana (2012); May Your Wish Come True, Gonzales Hulshof, Amsterdam (2012); Love, 6th International Artist’s Book Triennial Vilnius (2012); Somewhere Else, Galeria NoguerasBlanchard, Barcelona (2011); Boomerang, Academia de Bellas Artes San Alejandro, Havana (2011); El Extremo de la Bala. Una década de Arte Cubano, Pabellón Cuba, Havana (2010); I’m not here. An exhibition without Francis Alÿs, de Appel arts centre, Amsterdam (2010), 5th International, Artist’s Book Triennial Vilnius, Vilnius (2009); Experiencia de Acción: 30 días, Dpto. de Intervenciones Públicas, 8th Havana Biennial, Havana, (2003); Doble Seducción. Videos a la caza de artistas cubanos, Dpto. de Intervenciones Públicas, Sala Amadís, Madrid (2003).