This artist of the lens found her vocation in her native province of Matanzas. Her first snapshot dates back to November 11, 2006, at her great-grandmother Paulita’s house, a place she used to go as a child when her grandparents took her there on Sundays to get together and enjoy family time.
As she told CubaPLUS Magazine:
“It is that image of my great-grandmother that I had seen for years since I was a child, where the serenity of our common ancestors was her main attire. This portrait became an important piece of my series and significant shows within the country and outside it. It is also the image that leads an essay I started in the summer of 2020, six years after our mother Paulita passed away, and I decided to return to her house, where I found a cousin who lives there with her two children, and from there came my photo essay El mundo de Karoline.”
“This work allows me to treasure all the emotions that I relived in my mind through Karoline. It is an interchange of blood relatives that opens a door to continue every summer to discover this story that speaks about my past, my present and my future. A world that orbits around each and every one of the women in my family who have lived in the house on this small family estate where it all began.”
For her, photography is an intuitive and expressive act, the sensation of opening her mind to see clearly everything that interests her. “People may think that in my photography I am talking about stray dogs, children or the elderly, but in reality I go beyond that, I show what interests me. I consider myself a humanist photographer, someone who goes out into the street without the pretension of finding the super photo, rather I let my intuition guide me, to stop when I feel that I am in a unique moment, unique for the light, for the object or subject to photograph and for a whole host of illusions, for a better world.”
Loneliness is a recurring theme and has been the common thread in many of her series, such as Otras memorias del subdesarrollo, a personal exhibition at the Fototeca of Cuba.
On this theme, Daylene tells us that in her work she tries to reflect on the fate of people today facing loneliness and lack of communication.
To this end, she does not construct specific environments, the story is watered down, and she is only interested in presenting a scene frozen in the very circumstance that surrounds it.
Through her multiple photographic investigations, she has sought to show the inexcusable march of time through everything. People, animals, buildings, streets, cities...connected to each other through her perspective, always to capture that critical interval where physical and emotional substance is condensed.
The confinement imposed by the pandemic allowed her to direct her gaze towards the interior of her home. “It is very interesting how, from the confinement we all endured, my perspective began to turn towards what I have inside the house, towards a more personal gaze; this is how the series Isabella y Jennifer en confinamiento emerged in the last two years; for the first time my two teenage daughters became the protagonists of my narrative to talk about their postponed dreams.”
The preference for black and white in her work is a kind of aftertaste for statism that makes her characters seem frozen in time. “In my constant search I insist on the image of the individual in bleak scenes strengthened by the inalienable dignity to which they are compelled by unchanging circumstance. Tireless in my commitment to crystallize a poignant image, I go after the protagonists of my stories in a fleeting attempt at reciprocity. My characters share a dollop of disillusion, an attitude that goes beyond the difficulty of their problems to reveal the perspective of those who are not resigned to their fate, but do not expect much more than what they have.”
The participation of the creators in the Havana Biennial allows them, thinks the artist, to show their work, to take a reflective look at contemporary art in today’s world. “In my case, I inaugurated a personal show, Disonancias estacionarias, through my Open Studio as part of the parallel program in the second experience of the 14th Havana Biennial.”
She has several aspirations for the future, all directed towards her great passion, photography. Among these are the need to produce a book of her black and white photographic work, and her studies for a Visual Arts degree at the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA, University of the Arts), and she will be exhibiting a project presented at the recent Fotofest Portfolio review at the Ludwig Foundation.
She recently applied for the Magnum International Photographic Agency, which she would very much like to join and be part of this collective.
For her work she was selected for the exhibition ‘Arte en la Red’ at Casa América, Spain.
What interests her most is the day-today, facing her reality and circumstances each morning, and thus being able to generate new images, projects and visual suggestions for everyone.