Havana Biennial

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Havana Biennial
Begins 1984
Frequency biennial, every two year.
Location(s) Havana, Cuba
Organised by Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Center
Website http://www.bienalhabana.cult.cu

The Havana Biennial Art Exhibition 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.

10th Havana Biennial[edit]

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[edit]


  1. ^ Burnett, Victoria (2012-05-18). "11th Havana Biennial Attracts Americans". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-04-22. 

Further reading[edit]

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