Alexandre Arrechea has created a new series of photographic works called “Háblame,” calling into question the mediated nature of communication in social media and daily life. By positioning the viewer opposite both an orifice of speech and a device through which dialogue occurs, but is fundamentally restricted, Arrechea identifies the site of social media as one of flawed potentiality. To make these works, the artist fabricated a thick glass panel. The object recalls both religious sites of confession and security architecture—the pattern of perforated holes might allow sound to pass through, but the panel constitutes a formidable barrier. Arrechea positions this object between his camera and his subjects, close-ups of mouths sourced from books, the Internet, and the artist’s archive.
Full project details can be found here: Háblame
Alexandre Arrechea was born in 1970 in Trinidad, Cuba. He currently lives and works in New York, USA. Between 1991 and 2003, Alexandre Arrechea was part of a collective of cuban artists named Los Carpinteros, along with Marco Castillo and Dagoberto Rodríguez Sánchez. The group was best known for its play on dichotomies –the artists would depart from the idea of reproducing a common, everyday object, with perfect craftsmanship but would structure it differently, oddly and imperfectly, inevitably forcing a reformulation, or re-reading of a traditional object. After leaving the group, Arrechea began to address current political issues more directly, giving his sensibility and attention to contemporary culture the center stage. His work is also remarkable in its interdisciplinary and inclusive nature, often creating pieces such as large installation works in museums or commissions for public spaces that invite the viewer to participate and physically engage with the works. The artist also encourages more traditional contemplation through his sculptures or graphite and watercolour works on paper. Arrechea’s work positions itself between what is individual and collective, between the public and the private. In investigating this space, the artist addresses social norms and group behaviors, engaging with socio-economics, races and urbanism as a means of understanding both personal identities and mass experiences.