The Havana Art Biennial as Seen by the Youth

For an entire month, Havana will become a dynamic and living place to think on and live the art. Under the curatorial idea "Between Art and Experience," multiple proposals and ideas invite feeling "the city and its people." One of them is from painter and video maker Chemi Rosado, who has dedicated an important part of his work to community initiatives and public interventions.

The idea of the Puerto Rico-born artist is to make a video of Havana. The audiovisual material will have as distinctive element in that it will be shot from the perspective of skating. The project has its inception in a tour he made by skateboard of the capital of Cuba.

According to Chemi Rosado, in a text published in the official website of the Biennale (http://www.bienalhabana., his goal is to see up close "the other city as seen by the youth, which is not the same the rest of us see, very horizontally. I would like to create a map of Havana from that view."

This endeavor shows the intention that has marked part of Rosado´s work: to explore the common points between skateboarding and contemporary art, to map the spaces, the contexts and the society.

Aside from the proposals that intend to get closer to the interests of the youth, there are other proposals that focus on the youth. That is the case of Levi Orta, who will surely call the attention in the Miramar Trade Center, in Tangana with the Peugeot, in the Saint Charles Seminar with fellow graduates of the Higher Institute of the Arts, and in the Cuba Pavillion, with his proposal Capital = Culture, for which he was been invited to this important event. His proposal is based on the Marxist premise that culture equals capital, as he himself has explained to the website of the 12th Biennale.

Levi Orta´s found his inspiration in the private business created around culture. "There has always been business around art. After the loosening of 2010, they have increased," he explained. "I started my project that year and it has been changing along with the new processes and laws until reaching its current state."

Orta is concerned that his colleagues sometimes see the Biennale as a fair. Thus the meaning of Capital=Culture. "Artists get ready to do some investment, to sell their works. In my opinion this is in the detriment of artistic creation. My proposal is to do the same by reversing the process and have a work that is closer to art than to business. It is to make of the Biennale a commercial affair and turn this reality into art."

Other important moments of the Biennale, which will gather over 100 artists from 44 countries, are the second edition of Detrás del Muro (behind the wall), with approximately 50 initiatives; the mega exhibition Zona Franca, in the Morro-Cabaña Complex, and Mapeando desde el Parque Trillo (Mapping from the Trillo Park), "an approach to the view of Centro Habana as seen by the dwellers of the neighborhood they live in," explained Adrián González González, profesor and deputy dean of University Outreach in the School of Architecture of the Jose Antonio Echevarria Higher Polytechnic Institute, who invite us to follow his dreams up close.

"Until now, there has been a position on how to understand the urban image that stems from the Academy, but few times have we asked the people who live in the city to know if the position we are assuming as architects matches that of those who actually live in the neighborhood."

Link to original report on Juventud Rebelde news site