); Havana Biennial 2015: Art beyond the gallery | Visit Cuba


Havana Biennial 2015: Art beyond the gallery

By Samuel Rivas / Posted April 16, 2015

Once again, Havana will be nothing less than a grand stage for Art. A cultural journey like no other is about to start next month, when Havana Biennial blossom into a jubilant spectacle of arts and performance.

The major event of Arts in the island will be held from May 22nd to June 22nd, under the title “Between the idea and the experience”. During the 12th edition of this traditional meeting with the best art, some 150 artists from around the world will be present in Cuba.

This year, the multicultural meeting is projected towards a perspective of art beyond the museums and galleries, favoring social inclusion and multidisciplinary projects that characterize current contemporary art.

Where does Biennial come from?

f0010348Initiated in 1984, Havana Biennial is not a typical cultural festival, neither an elitist academic event. It was established long before the biennial boom that began in the mid-1990s. The first edition was devoted to Latin American artists who live or have their cultural roots here.

Since the 2nd Biennial in 1986, the focus was expanded to include artists from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. This tradition, which has remained during each of the subsequent editions, turned Havana into an important venue for the gathering and exhibition of “non-Western” art. The Havana Biennial has focused its attention on the artists from the South whose works represent concerns and conflicts – many times of universal scope – that are common to their regions.

Issues like the current tensions between tradition and contemporariness, the challenge to the historical colonization processes, relations between art and society, individuals and their memory, human communication in the face of technological development, and the dynamics of urban culture; have been topics of particular interest in the Havana Biennial. The 12th edition will be even more dynamic and expansive.

2015 will be different

The upcoming Biennial will be an event with broad participation of artists from around the world, and also a factor in transforming the visual imagery of Cubans.

At every corner of an enrapturing Havana, you’ll embark on an immersive journey within arts. Within Havana’s myriad art galleries or out of them, you’ll enjoy the chance to meet with artists, take in live performances and discover the capital’s most admired cultural landmarks or the most unknown corner, all filled with contemporary art.

It is designed as an intelligent, participatory culture event that convenes many people, focusing more on the creative process than in the final piece. Without a central exhibition area, it will occupy many different places, settling in the interstices of the city. The curators intend to explore other roads than the mega exhibition, in order to favor the intersections between different art expressions such as dance, theater, music, the cinema and literature.

This approach is part of one of the most precious resources of the Havana encounter: to feel the city and its people, involving its population and professional communities, and its spaces of socialization as well.

Who will be involved?

Never have Cuba’s artists, along with an array of international performers, been more accessible.

The Curatorial team is formed by Jorge Fernández (Director Havana Biennial and Curator) and Margarita González (Artistic Director Havana Biennial and Curator), as well as the Curators: Nelson Herrera Ysla, José Manuel Noceda, Margarita Sánchez, Ibis Hernández Abascal, Dannys Montes de Oca, and José Fernández Portal.

The artistic collective 2boys.tv, from Canada, will be performing at the Cultural Center Bertolt Brecht (Calle 13 No. 299, esq I, Vedado), during the third week of June.

havana_artParticipating Artists:


Aman Mojadidi
Zolaykha Sherzad
Jeanno Gaussi

Anri Sala – Curador asociado: Juan Carlos Betancourt

Didier Faustino

Mohamed Borouissa

Eduardo Tomas Basualdo y Sofía Bothlingk
Dolores Cáceres
Joaquín Fargas
Adrián Villar Rojas
Leonello Zambon

Nelson González

Nikolaus Gansterer
Johann Lurf
Axel Stockburger

Ewan Atkinson

Koen Vanmechelen – Curador asociado: Sarah Alonso

Mestaoui Naziha

Sthéphane Gilot

AVAV, Audiovisual ao Vivo
Louise Ganz
Eduardo Kac – Curador asociado: Concha Fontenla
Leandro Nerefuh
César Oiticica Filho
Opavivará ! (Colectivo artístico)
Lia Rodrigues, Companhia de Danças
Regina Silveira


Octavo Plástico (Colectivo artístico)
Nicolás Paris
Manuel Santana

Jean Mukendi Katambayi

Glenda León
Esterio Segura y Habana {re} generación
Lázaro Saavedra
Candelario Luaces
Johsué Pagliery
Reinier Nande
3stado Sólido
Rafael Villares
Felipe Dulzaides
Elizabet Cerviño
Luis Enrique López Chávez
Jorge Luis Marrero
Mauricio Abad
Néstor Sire
Humberto Díaz
José Eduardo Yaque
Omar Estrada
Rodolfo Peraza
Guillermo Rodríguez Malberti
Fidel García
El Ciervo Encantado
Espacio Creativo
Nelda Castillo

David Bade – Tirzo Martha

Francisca Benítez
Pablo Brugnoli y publicación Spam City
CRAC. Colectivo artístico
Guisela Munita
Alicia Villarreal

Andrés Tapia Urzua

Dominican Republic
David Pérez Karmadavis
Raúl Tamayo Morilla

Sami Rintala y Dagur Eggertsson

Daniel Buren

Carsten Nicolai – Curador asociado: Geacomo Zaza
Gregor Schneider
Tino Sehgal – Curador asociado : Merlyn Izquierdo

Henri Tauliaut

Regina José Galindo – Curador asociado: Geacomo Zaza
Sandra Monterroso

Nikhil Chopra
Shilpa Gupta
Anish Kapoor

Eugenio Tibaldi
Michelangelo Pistoletto

Ebony G. Patterson

Ingrid Mwangi
Robert Hutter

Steeve Bauras

Carlos Amorales
Sandra Calvo
Gilberto Esparza
Demián Flores y La Curtiduría
Héctor Zamora

Fredman Barahona

Emeka Ogboh
Victor Ekpule

Marte Johnslien
Ignas Krunglevicius
Pikene PA Bröen

Antonio Jose Guzmán

Verónica Wiese
Jose Carlos Martinat
César Cornejo

Puerto Rico
Jesús “Bubu” Negrón
Chemi Rosado

Serigne Mbaye Camara
Momar Seck

South Africa
Mary Sibande
James Webb
Bridget Baker
Robin Rhode

South Corea
Han Sungpil

María Ribot
Cuqui Jerez
Maria Jerez
Esperanza Collado


United States
Joseph Kosuth – Colaborador: Seamus Farrell – Curador asociado: Cristian Domínguez

Alonso + Craciun
Tamara Cubas
Guillermo Zabaleta

Colectivo Pico Estudio
Juvenal Ravelo

Havanna-Logo-300x300You can download the complete program of the 12nd Biennial from here.

For other details nearer the time see www.bienalhabana.cult.cu

Samuel Rivas