As part of his decade-long stills project, Stan Denniston took to the streets of Havana, Cuba to create a large-scale video installation that plays against the medium’s ability to capture motion. In Los Soñadores, the artist hijacks the siestas of over 60 dreaming mutts, awaking them into a flurry of new activism.
To evoke the material state of contemporary Havana, Denniston uses dilapidated televisions, showing the work on a floor-based, 9-channel installation. The monitors display sleeping dogs that in the course of the video are inspired to deliver a collective wonder. The exhibition also includes stop-motion captures of the dogs, which are fashioned to suggest over-sized animation storyboards.
For progressive Boomers all over the world, revolutionary Cuba was a beacon, as much for its resistance to the United States as for its sub-tropical socialism. Reflecting his profound ambivalence with that failed utopia, that prison island, the artist sees the meaning of the work as existing somewhere between Che Guevara’s vision of a new socialist society and Joseph Conrad’s Kurtz (Heart of Darkness) “we live, as we dream – alone…”. In Los Soñadores, Denniston creates a contemporary canine allegory about Cuba that looks at possibilities for change.