Havana Biennial Information

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Havana Biennial
Frequencybiennial, every two year.
Location(s) Havana, Cuba
Organised byWifredo Lam Contemporary Art Center
Website http://www.bienalhabana.cult.cu

The Havana Biennial Art Exhibition was founded in 1984. It takes place in Havana ( Cuba) every two years. It principally aims at promoting the developing world in contemporary art circles, giving priority to Latin American and Caribbean artists, although artists from all over the world submit works.

Since its first edition in 1984, the Biennial event has had central themes, among them tradition and contemporary times, challenges, art, society and reflection, man and memory, life with art and urban life. Works emphasize mainly paintings and other two-dimensional displays, using a variety of techniques.


The event was established in 1984. This edition exhibited artists only from Latin America and the Caribbean. [1]

The 1986 event included art from Africa and Asia and became the most important meeting place for artists from "non-Western" countries.

Lapses in the schedule were due to funding challenges. The 8th Biennial of 2002 was delayed an entire year, resuming in November 2003. This event showcased art within the social landscape, outside of traditional institutions. Artists normally unable or unwilling to participate with large institutions engaged diverse audiences by bringing art out of the museum and into the streets. Noteworthy artists to have "activated" the urban space include Mitchell Sipus and Fabiana de Barros.

The first two Biennial events included an awards ceremony, but the organizing committee then made it a non-competitive event.

7th Havana Biennial

The theme of the 7th Havana Biennial was "One closer to another", it took place from November 2000 to January 2001. More than 170 artists from 40 different countries participated in this edition of the biennale, [2] including Francis Alÿs, Julieta Aranda, Tania Bruguera, Diana Domingues, H Committee of Human Vindication, Jean-Pierre Raynaud, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Los Carpinteros, César Martínez Silva, Teresa Margolles, Miguel Calderon, Santiago Sierra, among others.

Organised by the Wilfredo Lam Contemporary Art Center, during the biennial many events were held in various public places of the city exploring interpersonal relationships and modes of communication between human beings. [3]

Selected projects

  • Helio Oiticica: Beyond Space, organized by the Fundaçao Memorial da América Latina and the Proyecto Hélio Oiticica. [4]
  • Jean-Michel Basquiat, at Casa de las Américas.
  • La Gente en Casa (People at Home), Cuban Art from the sixties to the nineties, at Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes,.
  • Extramuros - Actions and Performances, at various locations, November 17 and 18, 2000. [5]

10th Havana Biennial

With a central theme called "Integration and resistance in the Globalization Era", the 10th Havana Biennial Art Exhibition took place from March 27 to April 30, 2009. Experts from the Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Center reviewed more than 400 proposals submitted by artists from 44 nations. For the first time, the organisers decided to include western countries.

The 10th edition added conferences, workshops, master classes, documentaries and video screenings. The artists transformed the city into a showcase of contemporary art, taking over all available urban spaces and municipal galleries.

Common topics included the tensions between tradition and contemporary reality, challenges to the historical processes of colonization, the relationships between art and society, individuals and memory, the effects of technological development on human communication and the dynamics of urban culture.

The curators for this 2009 Biennial were Margarita González, Nelson Herrera Ysla, José Manuel Noceda, Ibis Hernández Abascal, Margarita Sánchez Prieto, José Fernández Portal and Dannys Montes de Oca Moreda.

Selected Cuban Artists Projects


  1. ^ Burnett, Victoria (2012-05-18). "11th Havana Biennial Attracts Americans". The New York Times. ISSN  0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-04-22.
  2. ^ "Havana Biennial 2000". Latinart.com.
  3. ^ "7th Havana Biennial". Artnexus.
  4. ^ "Hélio Oiticica: Beyond Space". Universe in Universe.
  5. ^ "Extramuros - Actions and Performances". Universe in Universe.

Further reading

External links