Teilnehmer 2002
ohne Titel, Matanzas, Cuba, 1997 - Che Guevara Porträt zwischen zwei Sesseln
Photini Papahatzi, London

geboren 1966 in Athen, Griechenland.

Untitled, Matanzas, Cuba.1997
In the beginning of the 60's the famous portrait of Korda turned Guevara into a martyr and icon for a generation of leftists. Ironically, 30 years after the death of Che, the revolutionary that fought capitalism, the same capitalist market economy is selling his image. Like a ghost Che's image is recycled on CD covers, keychains watches, beer bottles and rafts of other modern kitsch and yet echoes Barthes words; 'the Photograph mechanically repeats what could never be repeated existentially. Although the image of Che appears everywhere in Cuba for propaganda reasons, it now competes with the newly arrived commercial billboards. According to Barthes again ' every photograph is a certificate of presence' yet what remains of this presence seems to be only its certificate, sitting between two empty chairs, like the symbol of the death of ideology.
Finally, the two empty chairs remind the discourse of absence/presence that inspired Van Gogh to use them as portraits of their regular users. While the two chairs symbolise the assimilation of the image of Che in the art world -even in this photograph- their emptiness implies the death of Che's image as a symbol of ideology through its endless reproduction.


Teilnehmer 2002

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