JR & José Parlá: Wrinkles of the City

on Nowness.com

Wake up + take a trip to Havana, Cuba with longtime collaborators José Parlá + JR in film short, ‘Wrinkles In Time’.   Commissioned by the 2012 Havana Biennale, it’s part of a global series of public art installations + expressionistic murals centered around enigmatic portraits of the residents in each metropolis, from Berlin to Shanghai, this trip was extra special for Brooklyn-based Parlá.  Considered a homecoming of sorts, Parlá’s parents emigrated from Cuba to Miami, where he was born.

Today’s self-directed film captures the duo’s citywide project that ran from Old Havana to Vedado.  It’s a beautiful snapshot of such an old city like Havana, focusing on the life of any city, it’s residents.  I especially loved the part of the old woman telling her life story, while the wall for her face is being prepped for installation.  Then there’s that shot in the rain, with a solitary girl in the distance, accompanied by the the silhouettes of the surrounding buildings.

Here’s what the artists had to say on how their backgrounds as multilingual expatriates impacts their work to NOWNESS:

José Parlá: JR’s work is a commentary that is sharing something positive with the present or with history. Working together as we have has been organic because we both think alike. If I can’t make something happen, JR steps in, and if he can’t, then I communicate it. In Cuba we spoke Spanish, Portuguese, French and Japanese, inventing ways to share.

JR: José and I have that in common, we always feel language is not a barrier. I guess it’s because we speak with our own hands a lot.  

This is how any story should be told.



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