Reports Confirmed

An in depth look into the Caribbean sci-fi imagery of Yolanda Fundora's Cuba

Reports Confirmed 5/5 (2003) by Yolanda V. FundoraMuseo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico

Yolanda V. Fundora (b. Havana, Cuba 1953) is a Cuban American artist who grew up in New York City after leaving her island homeland at the age of 7. She lived in San Juan, Puerto Rico for ten years during the 1980s, returning to New York in 1991 and eventually settling in New Jersey, where she currently lives and develops her practice.

She has been making art in the digital realm since acquiring her first Mac 512K computer in 1985, and currently works as a digital printmaker, textile and book designer, and illustrator. Her artistic interests vary from looking at cities, markets, landscapes, and visual poetry, to geometric abstraction and symmetry.

The series Reports Confirmed (2003) consists of a portfolio of digital images that allude to her experiences as a Cuban American, rooted in the absurdities, contradictions and irrationality of people’s relationship to Cuba. 

Reports Confirmed 2/5 (2003) by Yolanda V. FundoraMuseo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico

Stamps are central to this series. Fundora began collecting Cuban memorabilia and stamps with the desire to create a book that would tell the history of Cuba through the small graphic jewels that are postage stamps. However, she later had to accept that academic rigor was not in her nature.

By including of a series of headlines, Reports Confirmed also alludes to how the island nation is often depicted in the media. In this portfolio, there are "reports" of an intervention by the patron saint of Cuba, Our Lady of Charity, interceding on behalf of a pineapple crop.

Reports Confirmed 3/5 (2003) by Yolanda V. FundoraMuseo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico

In the series, photos and postcards are combined with what seem like aerial shots or manipulated satellite imagery, effectively contrasting a certain understanding of history and facts with constructed narratives that emerge from their juxtaposition.

Conveniently for the island's tobacco industry, one of these reports confirms cigar smoking is beneficial to health. 

Reports Confirmed 1/5 (2003) by Yolanda V. FundoraMuseo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico

Fundora uses a mix of historical and sci-fi imagery to illustrate how other people seem to view Cuba, and her complex feelings towards her homeland.

These range from UFOs, to spaceships, maps, and photos sourced from historical archives.

Reports Confirmed 4/5 (2003) by Yolanda V. FundoraMuseo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico

Other details included in the stamps warn against the "fifth column." This expression refers to a group of people potentially disloyal to, in this case, the Cuban Republic, and thus likely to collaborate in different ways with the enemy.

Fundora's work recreates versions of the history of her country from the perplexity of someone who, in view of so many inherent contradictions, can only resort to her own creation as the only source of verifiable facts.

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