Posts Tagged ‘biennial’

Photo: Sven Creutzmann/Mambo photo/Getty Images
A performance at the 2015 Havana Biennial. When the Cuban government postponed this year’s event, artists took matters into their own hands.

The recent hurricanes have stressed official budgets all over the Caribbean, and in Cuba, the government blames Irma recovery costs for its decision to postpone a popular arts biennial.

So artists and art lovers decided to organize an alternative event, as Laurie Rojas reports at the Art Newspaper.

“A crowdfunding campaign was launched [in December] for the #00Bienal (5-15 May 2018), an independent alternative event that is due to take the place of the 13th Havana Biennial, which the Cuban government has postponed until 2019 because of a lack of resources after Hurricane Irma hit the island. …

“ ‘The democratically minded #00Bienal will be ‘the Havana Biennial for everyone,’ says the artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, one of the main organisers of the event.

“The aim is to provide a platform for artists who do not have the visibility or official status to participate in a government-sponsored biennial. Street, Outsider, performance, digital and conceptual artists and photographers are all invited to submit proposals. …

“[Alcántara] says that ‘the government made a grave error’ when it postponed the Havana Biennial, describing it as ‘the most important cultural event in the country.’

“Other artists and curators, including Tania Bruguera, Alvaro Saavedra and Coco Fusco, as well as independent cultural spaces in Havana, have volunteered to help realise the #00Bienal. It will be completely self-funded and will not seek money from the state.”

Check out the Art Newspaper, here, as well as the Havana Times, here. Hyperallergic details here the government hostility Alcántara ran into for organizing the alternative event.

Two couples I know went to Cuba last year and loved it. If you go in May, please let me know if you see the arts event.

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On Sunday, my husband and I decided to see what’s new at the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln.

A favorite in the biennial show of New England artists was Laura Braciale of Manchester, NH. It took me a minute, but when I realized she had displayed everyday objects along with what they looked like once she had turned them into art, I thought, Yes, art really is in everything if you look.

The blurb about her says, “close observation reveals subtle differences between the three-dimensional structures and their two-dimensional renderings. …  Her works engage a question concerning representation—which image is more ‘real’? As both her items and her illustrations occupy the same physical reality, however, Braciale’s work suggests that neither is more real than the other.” (Sigh. I’m not really fond of the way museums write.)

In a different DeCordova exhibit we saw three tintype photo portraits by the late David Prifti, Suzanne’s high school photography teacher. (A solo show in Winchester, Mass., goes through March 2, here.)

The biggest surprise was a documentary about Laos, a country we are interested in largely because of the the mystery books of Colin Cotterill. (Read one of my posts about him, here.)

The film, Route 3, shows a small mountain town that, having been leased to China for 75 years, was utterly destroyed to make way for casinos, hotels, entertainments, and jobs for Chinese people alone. Hard to imagine selling a part of your country like that, but Laos is desperately poor.

The documentary was by Patty Chang and David Kelley, who live and work in Boston and Brooklyn.

The DeCordova says on its website, “Blending the genres of documentary and road trip films with surrealist cinematic passages, Patty Chang and David Kelley present a compelling trip through the physical and psychological landscape of a community in transition. … Enlisting the help of tour guides and local entrepreneurs in this tightly controlled area, the artists immersed themselves in this community to create a unique portrait of a changing society.” More information on the artists here and here.

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