Realism and surprise: statues of flesh and blood

Realism and surprise: statues of flesh and blood

Visual Arts

By Petra Joaquina

Living statues, also known as white statues or human statues, are embodied by actors who remain motionless for long periods of time to simulate real sculptures in cities.

The gaze is almost always lost in the void and they are in a timeless space where they reside for a certain time.

Throughout history there are numerous examples of this artistic expression. It is believed that it can be traced to a practice that took place in ancient Greece, in which enemy spies disguised themselves as statues to avoid detection.

However, during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, living statues were common at celebrations and parties.

Certainly, this is a widespread practice despite time and borders, and its dissemination is becoming more and more relevant in the international artistic community.

In this sense, there are several festivals and events that take place in many countries of the world so that each region shows what happens in terms of statues of flesh and blood.

In Cuba, anyone who visits the historic center of the capital continually encounters sculptures of apparent statism that come to life as they pass by.

Surprised and contemplative, the traveler remains, in a total act of admiration. The living statues are part of Havana, its tradition and its essence.

The defenders of this type of performative practice usually interpret characters and symbols of Cuban culture, such as the Knight of Paris or La Giraldilla. Other representations are also discovered, fruit of the creativity and imagination of the artist, who in many occasions uses related elements to accompany the staging.