Raúl Quintanilla (1954 - )

Bye-bye Honey Pie (Sandino's Oblivion Express) (1992)

Mixed media
height: 160cm
width: 160cm

Donated by the House of Nicaragua Trust 1997


Raul Quintanilla's Bye Bye Honey Pie is at once an assembled monument to the ideals represented by the Sandinista revolution (which led a popular uprising from 1969, finally overthrowing military power in 1979) and a farewell to all that. It is a resigned statement of disappointment at national developments since, particularly the unfulfilled cultural promise represented by the decade for which the FSLN (Sandinista National Liberation Front) held on to power (1979-1990).

Resting on a plinth is a school textbook on Sandino, the original revolutionary hero who expelled US forces in 1934, and inspired the later Sandinista insurrection. The book is firmly and irreversibly shut; the nine, crooked, nails driven through it relate to the nine FSLN Commandantes who took leadership on 19th July 1979. Pictures of that day's popular celebrations are reflected in the mirror upon which this book is placed. To one side of the plinth is a montage of pictures of Sandino, fading; to the other side a framed bar code in the colours of the FSLN is displayed, "no te des por aludido companero" (of course I don't mean you brother) written beneath it. The FSLN were defeated by the democratic process that they helped to institute in 1990. Under the neo-liberal government, all traces of the cultural production achieved within the preceding decade were erased, murals were destroyed and the network of CPCs (Popular Cultural Centres) dismantled. The express speed at which Sandino's legacy fades ushers in a new culture of entertainment and commerce, a system of decorative galleries of superfluous art to which Quintanilla has himself attempted to provide an alternative via the establishment of 'Artefactoria' (1993), a non-profit space for emerging, experimental art.

Isobel Whitelegg, 2008

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