Kcho [Alexis Leiva Machado] (born 1970 in Isla de Pinos, Cuba; lives and works in Havana, Cuba).
Crayon on cardboard; 156 x 202.5 cm.
Revisits the theme of Tatlin’s Monument to the Third International (1919-20) from Kcho’s 1992 work To the Eyes of History. The drawing is a remix of Tatlin’s tower and Leonardo da Vinci’s flying plane, as if the former had become a spaceship.
“A peculiar remix of Tatlin’s tower, [The Conquest of Space] caps off the thematic cycle initiated in [To the Eyes of History]. The large-format paper has been turned into a notebook. In a stream-of-consciousness-like flow, the artist accentuates the unfinished character of the piece: he proposes technical solutions, details mechanisms, and annotates unconnected phrases, in the manner of the flying machine plans found in the codices of Leonardo da Vinci. In a technological miracle that would puzzle NASA experts, the failed Monument to the Third International has been transformed into a spaceship, an orbital vehicle capable of flying thanks to solar panels added by the artist. The betrayed utopia, as well as the massive architectural weight, are made to levitate despite the challenges of an incoherent technology.”
—Abelardo Mena Chicuri, “About Kcho (Alexis Leyva Machado),” The Farber Collection.