The twelfth Havana Biennial in 2015 will not have a central exhibition area. It aims at settling in those interstices of the city that facilitate the work on various premises.

12th Havana Biennial

Between the Idea and Experience

May 22 – June 22, 2015

Curatorial team: Jorge Fernandez Torres, Director Havana Biennial and Curator, Margarita Gonzalez Lorente, Artistic Director Havana Biennial and Curator.

Curators: Nelson Herrera Ysla, Jose Manuel Noceda Fernandez, Margarita Sanchez Prieto, Ibis Hernandez Abascal, Dannys Montes de Oca Moreda, and Jose Fernandez Portal.

In the midst of the festivities on the 30th anniversary of the Havana Biennial, the Wifredo Lam Center is disclosing the curatorial proposal of the twelfth Havana Biennial edition.

Reviewing the history of the Havana Biennial we perceive how each edition has left open issues and forms of doing taken from previous editions. This time the curatorial team pretends to remodel working strategies atomized in previous meetings, to explore other roads than those of the mega exhibition, although these might be occasional exercises. This turn is part of one of the most precious resources of the Havana encounter: to feel the city and its people, which equals involving its population and professional communities, its micro-policies and micro-spaces of socialization. Following that zone of debate of current art that opts for the displacement of the autonomous object to the contexts and experiences, the Biennial intends to involve architecture, design, the communicational phenomena, science and the forms in which the habitat is constructed, in the interest of favoring the social insertion of the proposals, something that historically has been part of the esthetic proposals of the so-called South.

Art has transcended the epistemological restrictions inherent to other disciplines; its symbolical nature allows it certain licenses when overlapping the different kinds of knowledge. Therefore, rather than naming the practices it is our interest to accompany processes of trans-disciplinary creation and intermediation involving research and pedagogic collaboration. Today it is still a useless exercise to establish preconceived concepts of what we understand as art. The group perception is transformed in the challenges and uncertainties produced by experience while new cultural horizons open and other forms of sociability and interconnection are created. The projects to be carried out in Havana must bear an effect upon its inhabitants, either through the latter’s participation in their concept and achievement or through the presentation of the works as live social laboratory. We would like to have the diverse scales of the urban network – universities, research centers and everything that makes integration possible – used as location and working material.

When assuming this projection as reference, we wish to favor the intersections between different art expressions such as dance, theater, music, the cinema and literature, considering the semantic wealth that hybridization contributes to what we understand as visuality. The basic idea is to grant these crossings a leading role instead of being mere backdrops. Hence our interest in extending an invitation for the confluence of artists and specialists in other disciplines.

The twelfth Havana Biennial will not have a central exhibition area. It aims at settling in those interstices of the city that facilitate the work on the above-mentioned premises. These ideas will enhance the dissimilar glances on the role and functions of curatorial work in the present art scene, on the pertinence or not of a theme to preside the dynamics of the work itself and the environment where it takes place or on the intervention produced by each creative process according to the place and situation for which they were conceived. Such issues compel us to meditate on the question of whether we are still too passive concerning the type of exhibition we conceive. It is important to delve deeply into the Biennial of the present in order to understand which may be the challenges of the future.

Curatorial concept in 3 languages (English, French, and Italian).


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