The Alternative Havana Biennial Set to Open Saturday

 By Irina Echarry

HAVANA TIMES – May 5th is approaching fast and with it the inauguration of the #00 Havana Biennial, which comes to fill the void left by the suspension of the official Biennial. Its promoters, Yanelys Nunez, Luis Manuel Otero, Katherine Bisquet, Amaury Pacheco, Iris Ruiz, Yuri Obregon and Jose Ernesto Alonso, believe that art is not a thing of institutions but of artists. 

This alternative event has been joined by many supportive people who collaborate in different ways and, also, creators who see the opportunity to make their work visible and support the initiative. In addition to physical spaces, such as galleries and studios, there will be virtual exhibitions that will bring us closer to the work of some artists.

Ariel Maceo is one of them. Writer, poet, photographer and future filmmaker, he likes that “the work of art manages to transmit to the spectator the same thing that the artist felt while building it”.

Maceo likes “living art, an art that walks, that breathes, that bites and thinks for itself”. He worries that many tourists come to visit the island and buy souvenirs believing that they take a part of Cuban culture. And perhaps it is true, they are indirectly lacerating what is called national culture. Under the name of Cuban art, they acquire trinkets. To put this false idea into question, his photographic project arises: Bare Souvenirs for Smart Tourists / Online Store that can be seen and purchased at this address:

The faults of the world in my retina is the Corasón i uebo expo, a group made up of Pedro Pablo Bacallao Perdomo, Maikel Armenteros Rodriguez and Antonio Alejandro Orta Sanchez. They propose “to awaken the collective consciousness of people, removing them from the critical lethargy in which some find themselves, recover the values ??that have been lost and enhance the positive we have.”

With there work the authors invite us to think about our personal contribution to improve the social environment and the future of the country. The online site is still under construction, but be prepared, because with this project it is intended “to confront, to transgress, to violate the susceptibility of the spectator”. You, directly or indirectly, can feel identified with several dilemmas that have already been naturalized, but, by just because they are so routine doesn’t mean they are no longer harmful to our society.

The #00 Havana Biennial will also bring reflection on the environment, on artists and art. Tania Bruguera, Reynier Leyva Novo, Iris Ruiz, Hamlet Lavastida, Yaima Pardo, Jesus Hdez-Guero, Raul Merino, Yasser Castellanos, Amaury Pacheco, Yuri Obregon, Jorge Luis Marrero, Luis Trápaga, Lia Villares, among many other Cuban and foreign creators, will participate from May 5 to 15 in this event.

An artistic intervention will take place from May 11 to 15 in the city of Miami. Organized by Aldeide Delgado with original idea of ??Francisco Maso, #00Bienal | Miami is a venue subordinated to the #00 Havana Biennial. The participating artists are Francisco Maso, Rodolfo Peraza, Yucef Merhi and Alejandro Taquechel. Thus, the alternative biennial transcends the borders of the island.

In each participating art studio a Biennial: Alamar, El Cerro, Marianao, Vedado, Guanabacoa, and Centro Habana, as the capital explodes this Saturday when art invades; an art, this time, without government sponsorship.