Dagoberto Rodríguez affirms that “behind each group or human action, be it a dance, assembly or meeting, behind each human conflict, military squadrons, parades or the arrangement of trenches, there is a hidden geometry that visualizes and explains our relationships in a different way. A geometry that leads us to very primary forms of composition”. Thus, in Geometría Popular, the artist notoriously plays with the importance of forms, the symbolism of fundamental geometric figures and the existential questions of human groups in contemporary culture.
With a simple narrative, this video piece addresses the staging of three geometric figures and how they relate and confront each other involving the aesthetic and symbolic differences that exist between them. They are still the "forms that haunted the avant-garde and mystics in the past," explains the artist.
The video goes through three phases of human grouping: the square, the triangle and the circle; describing a narrative scheme of anger, peace and submission.
The square, a figure with equal sides and angles, is an egalitarian formation that is, paradoxically, a generator of conflicts. In the symbology, it represents the earth as opposed to the sky. At this point, the play contains clear references to Cuba: the black-and-white shot of people hitting each other and arguing refers to one of the classic films of Cuban cinema, ‘Memorias del subdesarrollo’. "The last scenes", specifies Dagoberto Rodríguez, "when Sergio, the protagonist, is lost in a Cuban fight during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962". In addition, adds the co-founder of the Los Carpinteros art collective, "The training in the box is reminiscent of a vertically organized society, where no one escapes the imposed limits."
The triangle is the stable formation, the firstborn figure. The moment of conflict is resolved with the division of the square and the formation of two triangles. "They are also two islands of opposite thought, with a border separating them" explains the artist. From this point comes peace and with it, silence. Discussion is mediated by negotiation between the two sides.
The circle is an extended point and its properties are also common to those of the point: perfection, equality, absence of division or distinction. The circle is considered in its entirety indivisible, without beginning or end and without any variation. It is a metaphor for eternity, perfection, infinity and the ungraspable. Spontaneously in the room, and through the peace negotiators or implementers, a circle is formed. "The circle is a new order where everyone is aligned, as in a cell," continues the artist.
This choreography in which everyone walks around a circle is a possible example of social organization where we all play a role. The circle expands and contracts but nobody stops marching in its rightful place, in a kind of monotonous social harmony.
Behind each group or human action, be it a dance, assembly or meeting, behind each human conflict, military squadrons, parades or the arrangement of trenches, there is a hidden geometry that visualizes and explains our relationships in a different way. A geometry that leads us to very primary forms of composition
About the artist
Dagoberto Rodríguez was born in 1969 in Caibarién (Cuba) and graduated from Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA), La Habana (Cuba) in 1994. In 1992 he co-founded the collective Los Carpinteros. He currently works between Madrid and La Habana.
His works have been exhibited in museums and cultural institutions around the world and are part of prominent public collections such as MOMA, Whitney Museum of American Art, Guggenheim New York, Centre Georges Pompidou, Tate Modern and Museo Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, among many others.
Combining architecture, design and sculpture, his work employs humor and irony to comment on core topics in art, politics and society. Watercolor forms a very important part of his creative process, it is a way of registering and revising his ideas. Often these works reflect a fantasy of a possible conceptual situation.
About the director
Pavel Giroud is a Cuban Director and Screenwriter based in Madrid, Spain. After a renowned career as a music video and promotional shorts creator, he started working in the cinema industry.
His first solo feature film, ‘La Edad de la Peseta’ (Mediapro-ICAIC,), was Candidate for Cuba for the Oscar Awards and Nominated for the Goya Prize by the Spanish Film Academy, was premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and awarded in multiple International Festivals. Several publications chose him as one of the most promising directors in Latin America. His next film, ‘Omerta’, won the Coral award in the Best Unpublished Screenplay category at the XXVII International Film Festival in Havana and it was premiered the following year at the San Sebastián Film Festival. In 2014 he co-directed the documentary film "Playing Lecuona", starring pianists Chucho Valdés, Michel Camilo and Gonzalo Rubalcaba, accompanied by Ana Belén, Raymundo Amador, Omara Portuondo and other notable musicians. Awarded at the Montreal Film Festival for Best Documentary and at the New York International Film Festival, where he received the Merit Award.
‘El Acompañante’, his most recent fiction feature film, nominated by Cuba for the Oscars Awards and whose script was recognized as Best Project in Development at the 61st San Sebastian Film Festival and the SGAE Julio Alejandro award for best Ibero-American script, was nominated for the Platinum Awards for Best Screenplay and the Forqué Awards for Best Latin American Film of the Year; He won the Audience Award in Miami, Toulouse, Malaga and Havana (2nd prize) and the Best Screenplay Award at HFF New York.
Behind the Scenes
Pavel Giraud and Dagoberto Rodríguez met during the military service in Cuba and since then, they have always been in contact. Their professional collaboration began in 2012 with the work for Los Carpinteros collective ‘Conga Irreversible’ and since then, except for one piece, Pavel has made all the Los Carpinteros films.
‘Geometría Popular’ was shot in Cuba in one week and required the hiring of 160 extras. The filming location, the television studios built during the 1950s in Cubanacan, west of Havana, constitute one of the legends of Cuban cinema: this mythical complex is where all Cuban films have been made for the last 60 years.