Havana to become an enormous art gallery

As usual, the Biennial will allow artists from different regions to dialogue and give voice to those who are often ignored in their places of origin, the Director of the Wifredo Lam Centre of Contemporary Art, Jorge Fernández, reported.

The organizer of the most important visual arts event in Cuba explained that this year's edition, to be held from May 22 to June 22, will not have a central exhibition area, but will take place simultaneously across several of the capital's sites, in order that the artists' creative processes relate to the urban space and context in which they are conceived.

The core idea is to transform Havana into the largest art gallery in the world for a month, he said.

Fernández was delighted with the number of European artists that have participated in the latest editions of the event, not for individualistic purposes but to fully incorporate themselves into the true meaning of the Biennial.

This edition will feature creations on the theme, Between the Idea and Experience, as our idea of art is often very different from the actual experience of the artist, the director added.

An essential goal for 2015 will be the exhibition of working processes in art, which in the 21st century is marked by collaboration.

On this basis, the event will involve scientists, musicians, architects, dancers, designers, photographers and professionals from different disciplines.

Cuba's National Council for the Performing Arts is preparing a parallel program including other artistic expressions such as dance, music, theater, cinema and literature, based on the specific richness of each and, simultaneously, the relations between them.

In keeping with contemporary art production processes, the Biennial hopes to link multiple areas of knowledge, as well as providing curatorial workshops and encounters to reflect on architecture, urbanity and other topics.

The Biennial will not have a central exhibition area, but will take place simultaneously across various sites of the capital. Photo: Juvenal BalánThis edition opens spaces for the development of educational projects and the exposition of academic research which contributes to reflection on the arts.

For us, the energy of the city is important, Fernández said, inviting communities to become involved in the projects and turn them into socializing opportunities.

Cinemas, parks, plazas, museums, public buildings, and street corners will all host structures of distinct sizes in interplay, with the intention of promoting a dialogue between art and habitat.

Organizers also hope that the works exhibited provoke questions regarding the city spaces in which they are created or erected.

According to the President of the National Council for Visual Arts, Rubén del Valle, the Biennial must make art accessible to the most diverse public.

The largest exhibit of the event is entitled "Zona Franca" and will be displayed at the Morro-Cabaña Complex, while the capital's Pabellón Cuba cultural center will host the project "Entre, dentro, fuera", with the participation of artists from the United States, Bulgaria, Canada and Cuba.

Another attractive proposal will be "Estado sólido", a work belonging to a group of artists including Cuban filmmaker, Fernando Pérez, 2007 National Prize for Cinema winner.

The project links music and audiovisual production, in line with the interdisciplinary dialogue proposed by the Biennial, del Valle explained.

Those walking around Old Havana will appreciate how Brazilian artist, Regina Silveira, modifies some of the car parks of the city, while others enrich the scenery of the city's Historical Center.

Among the other public spaces that could see a change to their appearance are the National Bus Terminal, the Pabellón Cuba, a former bicycle factory in Vedado and the University of Havana.

Of the performance art worth mentioning is that of renowned Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto, which will take place in the Plaza de la Catedral. The Wifredo Lam Center of Contemporary Art, the Fototeca de Cuba (Photographic Library) and the Center for the Development of Visual Arts, will once again serve as key venues.

To date, eleven artists from Latin America, nine from the Caribbean, nine from Africa, three from Asia and 11 others from countries including Belgium, Canada, France, Italy, Norway, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, the U.S., Spain and Austria have confirmed their presence.

The event will be completed with the refreshing and experimental proposals of more than twenty Cuban artists.

Link to original Prensa Latina report

Read Preview of the Biennial by Cuban Art News

Read about the concept 'Between Idea and Experience' of the Biennial this year