The evening has planted the vitality of its ochre lights in the space. Quiet melodies defy time, pulled by the impetus of a sea that breaks, pulverizes, and (un)earths dreams. The Island’s shadow is dense; it has been wounded by the furtive sun of this land, and has ungratefully given birth to a stained glass of poor, dirty, great lights. Everyone chooses the tribute of his/her stare; everyone nurtures him/herself from a motherland of his/her own. As a result, Alexis Leyva Machado (Kcho) does not forget that the sanctity of this land of ours and of this endless sea –death and splendor bed–, is containing, like fish, like boats, like small butterflies lost in the weightlessness of an instant, the print of their children. In this way, Cuba all is involved in his brief and terrible visual poems.
An old song reads: “You will find me in everything I have found;” and someone replies, somehow restless and hasty, “All the silence men left behind themselves travels in time.” Maybe because of that, Kcho works hard to recue objects that cannot be saved, lost sounds, fragments: an operation that is chosen to build new latitudes to collective memory.
He inserts himself in the space of contemporary art hand in hand with the Povera tradition, on one side, and with the Dada spirit on the other. In the same way, the influence of the American installation movement of the 1960s and 1970s is essential in his professional development. He abandons himself to the tropic’s candor with a lyricism that resembles Virgilio Piñera and the sea.
He installs, paints, draws, builds. He moves from its center artistic traditions to make them become restoration tools: his point of interest is the object as a receptacle of memory, saturated and culturally constructed matter. His action is that of symbolic restitution; sense manipulation.
Kcho retains what we have let go: tired walkers that, in his hands, are little by little reborn. In the end, he makes them fly. He selects presumably exhausted fragments and replaces them in front of a spectator, this time with new functions, beating excessively. Those are monuments to men, to solitude, to silence, and to memories. Vestiges. Legions of beings that narrate the misfortunes of a tropical odyssey through their carnal features made of rope and chipped wood, soil and saltpeter.