Havana Biennial: Visionary Art Along the Malecon Seawall

HAVANA—Some of the most innovative art at the Havana Biennial could be found along the Malecon, the major roadway that runs parallel to the seawall of Havana Harbor. Over the course of the biennial, the “Behind the Wall” project featured 20 public installations sited along the Malecon, a major point of interest for visitors and also for locals.

In the evenings, the seawall is crowded with Cubans who sit on it, packed tightly. In Havana, the seawall is called the longest sofa in the city. It is a destination with fabulous views, a free place to hang out and socialize and, during the biennial, enjoy art.

In the official biennial catalogue, Elvia Rosa Castro described the installations as playing with illusion and the “principle of hope.” She also noted that the works are so compelling and relevant, they should be permanent: “Because of their visual nature and the way they deal with topics that are vital in our existence, I would leave those works anchored in the malecon forever.”

Some of the installations were not on view throughout the biennial. Cuban Arts Project, one of the sponsors of the installation catalogued all of the works here.

View more coverage of the 11th Havana Biennial.

All photos by Arts Observer

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