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Félix González Torres

A MUTUAL FRIEND called me in Havana from New York to tell me the news of the death of Félix González Torres. As I hung up the phone I thought that this precarious communication might have been the only link between the artist’s death and the country of his birth. It was like one of Félix’s own works, a subtle line coming down, a minimum trace of a presence in absence. Félix is not well known in Cuba, and his death went as unnoticed as had his life.

I felt an absurd emptiness. I also thought of the telegram that ten years earlier had announced to me the death of Ana Mendieta, 38 years old, like Félix. I remembered a sort of curse that weighs heavily on Cuban culture: its most brilliant figures seem to die young.

Félix and I had last seen each other in the spring. At the time, he seemed more enthusiastic over his bulldog pup than his show at the Guggenheim. He told me about a project he was

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