13th Havana Biennial April 12 – May 12, 2019 (13ma Bienal de La Habana)
The Curatorial Team of the Wifredo Lam Center for Contemporary Art has announced the dates for the long-delayed 13th Havana Biennial. The 13ma Bienal de La Habana will be held from April 12 to May 12, 2019. The theme will be “The Construction of the Possible” which seems to be recalling that the event was delayed indefinitely citing damage from Hurricane Irma. The announcement of the convocation of the official event is apparently a reaction to the just-concluded independent 00Bienal de Habana which drew outraged denunciations from UNEAC and Asociación Hermanos Saíz even as they announced support for the Lam Center’s announcement. Leaving politics aside, all Cuban artists and art lovers may owe a debt of gratitude to the brave souls whose defiant independent efforts have resulted in the revival of the Havana Biennial four years after it’s last presentation in May, 2015.
For those wishing to visit the 13th Havana Biennial, ARTempoCuba has created a variety of programming including studio visits, group presentations, lectures, a private gala celebration, and other interactive experiences. Contact Havana VIP, the leaders in concierge-style Cuban tours, travel, and events to investigate the possibilities or to reserve your trip to the 13 Bienal de La Habana.
Because ours is an English language site, what follows is a roughly translated version of the announcement of the 13th Havana Biennial from the Centro Wifredo Lam. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or to obtain our copy of the Spanish Language version.
CENTRO DE ARTE CONTEMPORÁNEO WIFREDO LAM
The Construction of the Possible. Theoretical Platform of the 13th Biennial of Havana.
The Biennial of Havana, recognized among the most prestigious events of Latin America, the Caribbean, and the world, has made visible not only Cuban thought and artistic practice, but artistic creation contemporary of the Southern Hemisphere and other regions of the world. Since it’s emergence in 1984, the Havana Biennial has been a platform for justice and equality. It has stimulated socio-cultural work, theoretical reflection and the transforming role of the visual arts in a polarized world, culturally segregated and dominated by the supremacy of the market. The event aims to give continuity to its foundational projections taking into account the conditions of a world in which they have intensified nuclear and warmongering threats, xenophobia,
racism, forced displacement, fascist tendencies, violence against the one who is different, ethnic-cultural conflicts,
inequality, terrorism, the systematic use of lies and an environmental crisis that threatens the survival of the human species itself.
This crisis affects us all and in particular the island countries of the Caribbean. The cult of consumerism and the promotion of the irresponsible wastes the planet’s natural resources. It is essential to mobilize broad sectors in the work of preserving a
balance between society – culture – nature. Science has understood the need to approach this issue in a multidisciplinary systemic way, and art has not been alien to it. Given the persistence of military, economic hegemonies, political and cultural models of existence are reconfigured in an attempt to raise new emancipatory projects and to dignify the coexistence among human beings in the midst of so many contradictions. Among them, the rescue of forms of community life, the struggle for the preservation of memory and the validation of others knowledge and knowledge systems; the search for older correspondences between creation and life practices; or points of convergence, nodes and networks that propose spaces for future models of understanding and solidarity among human beings.
The 13th Havana Biennial, to be held from April 12 to May 12 of 2019, proposes to encourage the interaction between creators, curators, experts and institutions, in a variety of way that contribute to sustainable variants, without departing from the propositive nature that all work or artistic project represents. We aspire that art point out new paths of collective reasoning and that their achievements offer, from the confrontation of different creative models of circulation, a greater rapprochement between the levels of viewers, locations and experience. Along with the idea of responding to the present, these practices outline possible notions of the future that, at least in the poetic or symbolic level, correspond with some needs of social transformation.
Can art involve a new social dimension and serve as a model for meeting with new sustainability structures? In what measure do emerging practices of survival, emancipation and social development inspire and generate new narratives and artistic methodologies? What kind of relationships can we establish among curators, artists, projects, groups and emerging practices, national and international institutions, or even between different art circulation schemes?
The next edition assumes the Biennial as a space for those artists who understand creation as a living event or ongoing experience. We are interested in those strategies that result from multiple confluences or propitiate existence in exchange networks beyond the aesthetic autonomy and the traditional notion of authorship, with a transforming vocation and recognition of diversity. Also, strengthening the formation of new social relationships and symbolic generated by different modes of interaction with art take transversality to cultural perspective and multidisciplinary approaches. We aspire to the creation of circuits among which to be tested modalities of coexistence and respect. International biennials that have remained almost alien to each other, they would find here a close dialogue of twinning; artists and artists become managers would show as a possible unit; development projects and
initiatives that pay tribute to local and community interests would converge in the same plane. Also, curators, mediators of the activity artistic and emerging cultural managers, together with others established, would accompany these processes from the understanding and would set a pattern of difference between the mechanisms habitual circulation of biennials.
In this way the institution, in keeping with art and its permanent exercise transforming and maintaining the necessary energy to contribute to human improvement in the midst of complexity. Havana will once again host its most important international event in the visual arts and leaves open, from now on, a platform for exchange and analysis of the ideas that will shape it.
— Curatorial Team of the 13th Havana Biennial, Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Center, Cuba