Marcel Pinas, Sanfika, 2009. Spoons, 250 x 1000 cm. from the 11th Havana Biennial.

11th Havana Biennial

Havana, Cuba

The Havana Biennial originated in 1984 as a tribute to the 25th anniversary of the Cuban revolution. Though it initially showcased only artists from the Caribbean, today it includes works by artists from the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, South America, and Africa. The 11th installment, which spread across the greater metropolitan Havana area, was a daunting enterprise for a first-time visitor. Armed with maps and traveling by foot, bus, and taxi, one embarked on a challenging treasure hunt, trying to locate the individual components and add them together to make sense of this enormous show. The theme, “Artist Practices and Social Imaginaries,” brought together approximately 180 artists and nine collectives from 45 countries to exhibit work in a variety of settings. The primary exhibition venues included the Gran Teatro de La Habana, which featured mostly international artists; the Fortress of San Carlos de la Cabaña, which displayed mostly Cuban art; and the Pabellón Cuba, which featured younger artists’ work. Museums, galleries, studios, parks, art schools, and dilapidated buildings across the city also served as exhibition sites, and the sprawling oceanfront promenade known as the Malecón became an open-air community gallery. …see the entire review in the print version of April’s Sculpture magazine.