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Yours, KOW

Dictatorship Series, 2023–34

book scultures

The word “Dictatorship” appears again and again compulsively. Marco Castillo invites us to immerse ourselves in his game, where he confronts us with a blend of typographies and abstract, disordered geometric shapes, challenging us to decipher the hidden message behind each piece. Rather than directly referring to the conceptual impact of the word, Castillo speaks to us about the ways in which power perpetuates itself through staged performances, where individuals are unaware of the system of constructions in which their lives unfold. It is a system of mirrors where it is impossible to discern where fiction begins and ends, but the artist aims to disrupt it with this group of artworks. On the cover of the books, Marco alludes to the life of a person growing up in a totalitarian system. He participates in this cryptic game, leading an apparently normal life, unaware of any other reality. Notions of freedom and democracy are understood only through the lens of power. Over time, he develops his own perspective and discovers that this reality is nothing more than a bubble where words and his own life have been redefined to sustain the system. On the back cover of the notebooks, all the letters and shapes align and unveil the word “Dictatorship” like a mantra.

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Marco A. Castillo

Marco A. Castillo is co-founder of the collective Los Carpinteros. The group was created in 1992 in Havana, Cuba, to develop practices that combine architectural forms, design and art, independent of individual authorship. While the collective gained wide international recognition as a group, Castillo has also been recognized for his individual work. In his career as an individual artist, he has experimented with the intersections between fine art, applied art, and decorative art to problematize aesthetic expectations and preconceptions associated with the Latin American history of modernism, socialist design, and Cuban traditions. In doing so, he also focuses on Cuba's current political developments as well as the now often forgotten achievements of modern Cuban architects and designers. He has been awarded different prizes, latest being the Medalla por la Cultura Nacional (Cuba, 2002).

Full Biography