It is amazing to dive deeper on this “Patria” that Sandor González Vilar exhibits at the Servando Cabrera Art Gallery, in the municipality of Playa. Amazing since it is not like traveling to the ego of an artist, but to the feeling of a nation experienced, loved, lived by the artist, aware that the Homeland is not his or yes, it is, of course, but it also belongs to his brothers and sisters, who were born from the same motherland and remain linked to it and definitively, to each other.
I do not see another more eloquent image than this one of a burned island to illustrate an absolute truth: Cuba belongs to everyone. Three minutes where we not only witness Sandor's skills for video art: his ability to synthesize, without losing finesse or content; but we are also witnessing a declaration of ethical principles.
“Patria,” of course, speaks of patriotism, but from a profoundly humanist, Marti-like vocation: “it is not the ridiculous love for the land, nor for the grass where our plants tread…” Then I feel like going beyond that truth and say that the Homeland this art exhibition addresses “is not” for everyone, nor for anyone. I dare to affirm that in Sandor’s eyes and heart, that Homeland means “we are.”
Here is Martí to confirm it, that Martí who does not leave us in mere contemplation, but rather leads us to read, to search deeply in the work of the Cuban individual who speak us the most about Homeland. Here it is —it could not be missing— the flag of the lonely star, a symbol that has become a constant in Sándor's work, which is an expression of that traditional Cuban root that already came from his inheritance, but which he has chosen to defend.
For years I have seen Sándor González grow and climbs his own professional and personal ladders. Increasingly versatile, technically more solid and conceptually more mature.
When I met him, he was a restless boy who walked with his brothers, precisely, embracing the Homeland; healing the wounds as best he could, sewing hope; they spent the mornings shoveling debris and destroyed dreams, to sow new art and dreams every afternoon. I saw them make beauty out of the apparently irreparable, of broken things, of that snatched away by the wind. In the midst of the disaster, they took creation to another level, to such a degree of utility and virtuosity, that nothing without soul could seem like art to me.
The twelve years of my eldest daughter, who was not born then, remind me that time has passed by, but I cannot just avoid returning. First, because I feel that everything that Sándor does is touched and enriched by that vital experience that transformed the creator and his work, since it was not a moment, but a path he himself built. But also, because "Patria" is dedicated to Rancaño, his brother in life who recently moved to the distance of a hummingbird's wing and lives there, ready to save one of us, those of us who are the Homeland.
Thank you, Sandor González Vilar for this lesson of art, Homeland, and Humanity.
Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff