works that I present here form part of a series of work that I
have been developing over time. They form the continuation of
reflections related to the mechanisms that systematize our glance
and that bias a specific reading of a determined historic event.
I have also been interested in the role that texts and images
play to refer to historical events and to perceive and construct
In general, the photographic
work of Elías does not involve us emotionally but it
distances us from the theme. This Brecht-like resort makes us
coldly face a dilemma as if it were taking place on stage in
front of us.
This photographic series by Elías
presents in diptychs the same points of reference - the stairs
of the University of Havana, San Lazaro Street, the Havana "Malecon,"
Revolution Square -- taken from a televised documentary scene,
together with a current photo of the same place taken at that
Thus the difference between a
glance and reality through a photographic lens is evident. As
the picture includes the perforations of the photographic negative,
we can observe that the same images had been taken consecutively,
the result of a decision prior to closing the camera's shutter
rather than a chance result or by later juxtaposition of the
Hagan juego, señores (Place Your Bets, Gentlemen)
This deals with triptychs whose
axis (central image) is a photo of a roulette wheel from one
of the many casinos that used to be in Havana, a still shot
of a documentary image from television.
Because 36 is the number of slots
on a roulette wheel, the complete series is composed of 36 different
photos from documentaries and films, placed on both sides of
the central image. (Here 6 triptychs will be exhibited.) These
are photographs of people, events and places that do not have
a clearly defined relationship among themselves but that Elías
now presents before our eyes once more thanks to and by the
grace of chance.