Havana Biennial, Baby…

Malecon, Frosted Cake with Penis
Malecon, Frosted Cake with Penis

One of the highlights of our Cuban adventure was participating in the Havana Biennial.

The Biennial Art Exhibition takes place in Havana every two years. Its’ goal is to promote contemporary art in the developing world.

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The biennial, which began in 1984, is an important forum for underrepresented voices. Latin American and Caribbean artists have priority even though artists from all over the world submit their works.

Malecon Sculptor
Malecon Sculptor

We viewed a tremendous amount of art. One of my favorite places to observe was on the Malecon, Havana’s seafront boulevard which winds dramatically along the Atlantic. It was designed as a jetty wall in 1857 and not laid out until 1902 by U.S. Governor General Woods.

Malecon, Pot with Silverware
Malecon, Pot with Silverware

We awoke early on our second day in Havana and pounding the pavement on the Malecon by 6:30. The journey was rough, like walking on a coral reef. The sidewalk is threadbare and very broken up due to the constant sea salt spray.

Malecon
Malecon

During the Havana Biennial the stretch of land which borders the Atlantic Ocean is populated with large sculpture and interesting, creative installations.

photo:Alejandro Ernesto (EPA)
photo:Alejandro Ernesto (EPA)

One of my favorites on the Malecon is “Resaca” created by Cuban artist, Arles del Rio. The artist transformed a patch of boardwalk into a beach. At night, the area is packed with young people hangin’ at the beach.

Malecon, Yellow Brick Road
Malecon, Yellow Brick Road

We spent time at the home of a well known art dealer whose house was filled with contemporary works by Cuban artists.

Malecon Sculpture
Malecon Sculpture Detras del Muro

There were musical demonstrations all over Habana Vieja in conjunction with the biennial. We ended up in the middle of a big musical celebration.

Biennial Musical Celebration
Biennial Musical Celebration
Malecon Scultpture
Malecon Scultpture

We also toured the permanent art collection at Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Fine Arts Museum). It features a wide spectrum of Cuban artists paintings and sculpture.

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On our last day we journeyed across the water from Habana Vieja on the north side of the harbor channel.

Moat Ramp
Moat Ramp

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The rugged cliff face is dominated by Parque Historico Militar Morro-Canbana.

Artwork by the Cannon Embrasures
Artwork by the Cannon Embrasures

Enter via a drawbridge across a deep moat that leads through a tunnel that opens onto parade grounds.

See Saw Sculpture
See Saw Sculpture
Galleries
Galleries
Cavelike Shops
Cavelike Shops

The art was exhibited in the cavelike shops.

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It was fascinating to be able to participate in the Havana Biennial. Many of the pieces were unique and creative.  It was exciting to be surrounded by sculpture and artistic installations on a daily basis.

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The Biennial was another event to savor and cherish during our stay.

Broken Glass Installation
Broken Glass Installation

These vivid Cuban memories will stay with us for a lifetime.

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One Comment

  1. Just Beautiful, Thank You for these pics.

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