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Ninth Havana Biennale
The how and why of pinnacle or decline according to Flavio Garciandía
Ninth Havana Biennale
Instruction manual
Contemporary Cuban Art

Ninth Havana Biennale

Havana’s ninth Biennale was declared open on 23rd March 2006. The opening ceremony led by Minister of Culture, Abel Prieto, took place at San Carlos de la Cabaña, the immense colonial fortress on the other side of Havana Bay. The event’s main venue showed innumerable pictures and installations in its rooms, patios and even moats.
Until the end of April, the city was invaded by such famous Cuban sculptors, painters and photographers as Flavio Garciandía, Roberto Fabelo, Kcho, Duvier del Dago, Rigoberto Mena and many others. Foreign artists were also represented such as Brazilian Guaraci Gabriel, partners Anne and Patrick Poirier or Spencer Tunick, with his massive polemical nude photos. Dancers, musicians, actors, mime artists and above all the curious Havana public were themselves protagonists in this authentic celebration of artistic creativity.
In harmony with its subtitle/slogan, “Dynamics of Urban Culture”, this year the exhibitions and performances spilled over in the old town’s galleries like the Wifredo Lam Centre, the Cuban photographic library, the National Museum of Fine Arts and the Convent of Santa Clara along with other less traditional spaces within the historic city centre like the Plaza Vieja.
Events spread out to Centro Habana to the La Coubre Railway Station and Empedrado Street where it reaches Prado. They also spread as far as Vedado to Pabellón Cuba and the park between 14, 16, 13 and 15 streets. In fact, events spread through the whole city in the form of the camellos artistically transformed and circulating around the streets...
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The metrobuses, commonly called camellos, with the roar of their powerful motors and their hundreds of passengers have become another of Havana’s symbols. Why not take advantage of this, go a step further and turn them into travelling Art galleries? Cuban Guillermo Ramírez and Brazilian Guaraci Gabriel got to work and presented two unique examples to the capital’s public transport system.

+ information pág. 102-105 The H Book 2007 08

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