More than 300 artists, gallery owners, promoters, critics and theorists from various disciplines from Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia, as well as from Europe and the United States, are set to participate in the 14th Havana Biennial which opened this weekend, from 12 November and will continue until 30 April next year.
With overwhelming international support, the agreement and commitment of the Cuban artistic community and renewed interest in fostering spaces for meeting and interaction, the Biennial will feature solo exhibitions and collective, special projects, theoretical conferences and exchanges of creative and pedagogical experiences. It will take place in three stages:
The Preamble (November 12 – December 5, 2021),
Havana of the Biennial (December 6, 2021 – March 24 2022) and
Back to the Future (March 25, 2022 – April 30, 2022).
Those participants will be joined by dozens more Cuban artists, teachers and students, especially in the second stage, which with its inclusive and comprehensive nature, will actually extend well beyond the capital.
The first stage ‘Preamble’ has begun with the opening of the exhibition Roads that do not lead to Rome. – Coloniality, decolonization and contemporaneity
The exhibition explores how in these phenomena have expanded into new concepts, associated above all with power relations. It is a collective exhibition that brings together artists from almost all continents and has been conceived as an exhibition in process, which will change how it looks and grow as time progresses, corresponding with how these same dynamics currently continue in constant transformation and movement.
Artists include: Dulce Chacón (Mexico), Edith Roux (France), Glenda Salazar (Cuba), Joiri Minaya (Dominican Republic- USA), Lawrence Abu Hamdan (Jordan), MURU 7.8 (Argentina-Mexico), Nelson Villalobos (Cuba), Patrick Waterhouse (United Kingdom), Roberto Diago (Cuba), Romaric Tisserand (France), Roger Ballen (South Africa-USA).
Alongside the exhibition will be theoretical talks and events with themes of ‘art in times of crisis’, ‘decolonisation as an act of liberation’, ‘ecology and sustainability’. A special workshop project will also begin based in Regla in the bay of Havana with the aim of generating debate about local issues and the needs of the area.
Other projects during this first phase is one with international artists making a union between sound, dance, performance, textile art and architecture, and a collaboration with dance students from the University of the Arts, ISA in Havana to be performed at the National Museum of Fine Arts.
there will be many more exhibitions and events in galleries and other venues and outside through the other two phases of this Biennial.
14th BIENNIAL OF HABANA Future and Contemporaneity 12 November 2021 – 30 April 2022
You can read more about the Biennial, download the programme and press release on the website below and follow the course of the event online via their social media channels.
Youtube: Bienal de la Habana
The Biennial “focusses on the views from countries located outside the centres of power, whose ancestral wisdom could contribute to a better understanding of current problems and the preservation of life on the planet”, declared the president of the National Council of Visual Arts, Norma Rodríguez. She stressed that the event underscores its anti-hegemonic stance as “the attempt to prevent its realization at all costs places the boycotters on the same side as the most recalcitrant spokesmen of the international right.”
More than 800 artists and intellectuals from 40 countries signed up to the statement initially published on October 27 by the Mexican newspaper La Jornada, which denounced a campaign of lies and manipulation to boycott the Biennial led from outside the island, largely by media resourced by US government funds such as National Endowment for Democracy grants.
WHAT IS THE HAVANA BIENNIAL
The Havana Biennial, founded in 1984, is a contemporary art event organized by the Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Centre in Havana. Its fundamental purpose has been to contribute to the best knowledge and dissemination of the visual arts of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean, and of their diasporas. Considered “the first biennial of Latin American Art”, the event has been the site conducive to stimulating art and reflection on geographic-cultural areas than they had ever been taken into consideration before by the international art circuits. In addition, it represented a fundamental change in the concept of this type of event, by incorporating in its structure not only exhibitions, but workshops and discussion forums. It spread to the public space, turning the city into an open and plural territory, in which any spectator could experience the works and projects installed in parks, squares, streets, walls and building facades. In this sense, it created a new model for events of this nature which, immediately, attracted interest in several parts of the globe and acted as a reference for changes in its projections, as well as to stimulate the creation of similar events elsewhere in the world.
WIFREDO LAM CONTEMPORARY ART CENTRE
The Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Centre, created on February 28, 1983, is an institution aimed at researching and promoting the work of Wifredo Lam, one of the most important 20th century artists, and to the study and dissemination of contemporary visual arts from Asia, Africa, Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean. It also organizes the Havana Biennial, a major event international significance in Cuba in the field of visual arts.
Based on reports in Prensa Latina, Uneac.cult.cu and the Wifredo Lam Centre.