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Phnom Penh Photo 2012 –Adrian Fernandez Milanes


In Cuba’s capital city, the Nuevo Vedado residential district relates something of the history of the country. Before the 1959 revolution, this green area was planned out as a pleasant setting for modern houses not separated by walls or hedges, something akin to a park with people living in it. After the regime change, the houses were distributed to the heroes of revolution who got licenses to rent them out to foreign tourists. Nowadays, the houses have changed owners or been sold. The heirs, a new well off class, generally kept the furnishings and decorations of the bourgeoisie days. The son of an architect, Adrian Fernandez Milanes documented this unusual enclave i. He first made a black and white catalog of the fencing, gates and walls that now protect these rich people homes. Then he photographed the interiors just like home decorating magazines do. He finished up with this series of still lifes of items taken from those houses that he put under light in his studio. Collections of fruit and bouquets with kitsch wallpaper as a backdrop. Adrian Fernandez Milanes says that these are portraits of rich Cubans. Everything is made of plastic, the flowers are artificial, the fruit tasteless. He brings them to us close¬up with the name tag “the aesthetics of emptiness.”

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