HAVANA—Arts Observer is in Havana exploring the arts and culture of Cuba. The 11th Havana Biennial from May 10 to June 10, 2012, features work by artists from around the world including the United States. Arts Observer is visiting biennial exhibits at various institutions, viewing public art installations along the Malecon seawall, and meeting artists and curators.
Havana “Wrinkles of the City” project by JR and Cuban photographer Jose Parla. | Photo by Arts Observer, June 7, 2012.
The experience has included learning about Cuban fine artists such as Flavio Garciandia, Sandra Ramos and Jose Bedia. Museo de Bellas Artes, Cuban Collection in Havana is currently exhibiting Ramos’s work. The solo exhibit explores immigration issues. She employs passport images in her multimedia work and the show features a bridge visitors can walk across while looking down at a series of aerial photographs of the flight from Havana to Miami. “Transcultural Pilgrim” at the Miami Art Museum is showcasing three decades of Bedia’s graphic work which is inspired by Santaria and cross-cultural influences.
The first Havana Biennial held in 1984 focused on Latin American and Caribbean artists and the second expanded to include artists from Africa and Asia. Today, while it is an international event, providing a platform for underrepresented artists from the local region remains a priority.
Arts Observer’s coverage of the Havana Biennial, the work of individual artists and observations of street murals in the central city will be posted in the coming weeks, beginning June 18.