Designed like a piece of art in itself, whose process is as important as the finished piece, the 14th Havana Biennial of contemporary art will begin on November 12 and will run until April 30, 2022, under the slogan ‘Future and Contemporaneity’, it was announced at a press conference in Havana this week.
The organizers of this important event explained how its structure was being reinvented, as it will consist of three parts and be spread across virtual platforms and face-to-face events, as well as extending its duration to nearly six months.
“Even in the most difficult circumstances such as this (COVID-19) pandemic, even with the possibility that we cannot have face-to-face attendance at events if the situation continues in this way, we still think that art should not abandon people, it must try to reach people, look for alternatives and try to develop even in the midst of serious difficulties,” said Ramírez Arellano, director of the Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Centre, the organizing body of the festival.
The 14th Havana Biennial changes its usual structure and duration to, for the first time, covers a period of almost six months during which we will progressively add experiences that, from artistic theory and practice, highlight the emancipatory potential of art and culture, as well as their ability to reflect on the present and the future of the planet.Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Centre Curatorial team announces the 14th Biennial
This year, the Havana Biennial will be divided into three stages that have been called ‘Experiences’.
The first of them will be ‘Preamble’ (from November 12 to December 5, 2021), which will begin with a theoretical panel with voices from different contexts and fields of thought whose point of communion will be the development of a critical investigation about the present, and the search for paths that foreshadow a more promising and inclusive future.
The second stage is identified as ‘La Habana de la Bienal’ (from December 6, 2021 to March 24, 2022).During this second stage, Cuban art will have a leading place with a program of exhibitions and presentations scattered throughout the city. To this will be added a set of special projects and collaborative workshops, some of which will go beyond the borders of the capital and will extend to other cities of the national geography.
The third “experience” will be ‘Back to the Future’ (from March 25 to April 30, 2022) and will function as an epilogue to that alternative search that puts art in the role of finding a space in which to recover the possibility of a better future. There will be a curatorial exhibition divided into several nuclei or projects that will take place in various venues in the city.
Liset Alonso, deputy director of the Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Centre, said that they intend to reactivate the cultural life of the city, especially with the second experience, which will explore the physical spaces of Havana with the works of local creators and international projects such as the biennials in Cuenca, Spain and Bucharest, Romania.
The biennial will be curated by a work team that combines the experiences gathered in more than 35 years of the event and led by Margarita Sánchez, Nelson Herrera, José Manuel Noceda, Pepe Fernández, Yanet Oviedo and Carlos Alberto Díaz.
The Havana Biennial, founded in 1984, is a contemporary art event organized by the Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Center whose main purpose has been to contribute to the better knowledge and dissemination of the visual arts of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. and the Caribbean, and its diasporas, considered “the first biennial of Latin American art.”
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