Havana, a Gigantic Art Gallery
More than a hundred artists from 44 countries participated at the 12th Edition of Havana’s Biennial, giving them free rein to create in the city’s urban spaces.
As is customary, the Biennial brings together artists from different areas, allowing those who sometimes go unnoticed in their own countries to stand out, pointed out Jorge Fernández, Director of the Alfred Wifredo Lam Center of Contemporary Art.
The organizer of the most transcendent visual arts event in Cuba indicated that this year’s Biennial, from May 22 to June 22, did not have a specific head office as it simultaneously took place in many parts of Havana, where the artists created according to the place and urban context.
Fernández was pleased at the number of artists that came from Europe, as with the last editions, and at their appreciation of the true essence of the event.
This year’s edition presented works with the theme “Idea and Experience”, as the idea of art is usually very different from the artist’s true experience.
A key focus of the 2015 Biennial was the exhibition of processes in artwork in the 21st century with the collaboration of scientists, musicians, architects, ballet dancers, designers, photographers, and a variety of other professionals. In tune with contemporary art production, the Biennial tried to relate multiple areas of knowledge in addition to encouraging workshops in curatorship and meetings to reflect on architecture, urbanism and other topics. Cinemas, parks, squares, museums, buildings, and street corners all exhibited structures of different sizes with the intention of making a connection between art and habitat.
The biggest exhibition of the event was titled “Free Zone “at the Morro-Cabaña cultural complex, while Pabellon Cuba was a stage for the project “Between, Inside, Out”, with artists from the United States, Canada, Bulgaria and Cuba.
Another attractive proposal was “Solid State”, a work belonging to an artists’ group which included prize-winning Cuban film maker Fernando Pérez (National Award of Cinema 2007). The project linked music and audio-visual achievement, in accordance with interdisciplinary dialogue proposed by the Biennial.
Among the public spaces that changed their physiognomy was the National Omnibus Terminal, the ancient bicycle factory in Vedado and the University of Havana.
With regards to the works, special mention went to Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto, in Cathedral Square.