Behind the wall

/ 25 May, 2015

The strong presence of contemporary art will be highly favored by the imprint displayed in the exhibition Detrás del muro, in its 2nd edition, inserted as collateral sample in the 12th Biennial of Havana, scheduled to open on May 24 at 6 pm, on the wall of Havana seawall promenade.

The set of exponents, belonging to a group of contemporary authors who express themselves in terms of public interventions for social inclusion, gives a unique peculiarity to the enigmatic title of this exhibition, which provides an ambivalent action: depending on if the person looks from the sea or from the land, and that includes the presence not only of local artists, but also Cuban artistic personalities residing in other latitudes, as well as creators of other nationalities inserted in this unique experience, which is of special significance. It is proved once again that strength lies in union.

More than fifty projects by about sixty artists, including masters Manuel Mendive and Roberto Fabelo, along with a large cast of participating artists will be presented, allowing us to share and dialogue with authors coming from the Canary Islands and United States, along with national artists who will gather at this event, which will reveal new figures from the art world and allow us to meditate on expanding the ways of expression of the current artistic expressions.

The deployment has its antecedent in the first edition of Detrás del muro, which was conceived to be exhibited during the 11th Havana Biennial, held in 2012. Its success was due to the quality of the invited authors, the aesthetic richness and originality of the participating works, as well as the wisdom of the placement of the exponents, which were located – so spectacularly all along the known and visited Havana seawall promenade. Varied and interesting proposals from a recognized list of participants come together in this charming and very complicated curator work. On that occasion, moreover, the frequent presence of Cuban art was ratified overseas, so that a set of exponents had a subsequent display at The 8th Floor, New York, in 2013, which was resolved with the adequacy of some proposals to that exhibition space, which managed to convey the sense of unity and harmony within a varied and peculiar universe. The inclusion in this important cultural center speaks in favor of the excellence of the works and the impact generated in our context, as the reception given to the sample was due, in large part, to the diversity of the imagery displayed, which required the spectators addressing readings of various symbolic universes. However, the adequacy of the works to the new conditions, which were contextualized in that space, should not be rejected, as well as their contextual incidence, which required a critical view of the public regarding the possible readings of the compositions.

Based on an original idea, marked by the ability to articulate projects, curatorship is backed by the talent of Juan Delgado Calzadilla, who has kept a watchful eye on his long experience in this field. The museographic criterion by Elvia Rosa Castro shows her skill in this field as well as her keen advice, typical of her intrinsic nature. No less important is her work as editor of the magnificent catalog, which fortunately they were able to afford thanks to the numerous sponsors of this worthy endeavor. Undoubtedly, the Cuban culture is pleased to have specialists who manage to promote Cuban art, as the one before us. No less important are the texts that give coherence and serve as body structure to this symbolic, rich and multifaceted representation presented by a group of restless artists. Undoubtedly, the erudite and well documented essay by architect Mario Coyula is a valuable and illustrated paper addressing the historical reordering of the issue with rigor and eloquence. The author uses verb and knowledge to which he has accustomed us. Moreover, Elvia´s wealth, her poetic and conversational style is reflected in her characteristic and categorical statements. It reveals how the outlines of this seductive project were taking shape, while allowing us to arrive at knowledge of the matter from her experiences in the art world. The author invites us to consider this proposal from the strategy redefinition and re-functioning of the art within the new socio-cultural coordinates. These guidelines allow us to glimpse identity profiles from the sidelines.

The theoretical corpus of this publication contains an introduction by Juan Delgado; architect of this magnificent project, which tells us how this experience is boosted by Yemaya, the seductive queen of the waters, whose mythological essence and real and fabulous representativeness lies there “behind the wall”.

In this second edition, Detrás del muro is expanded; the sample is welcomed as a side event, which will close the flow of traffic along the Malecon, in the stretch between La Punta Castle to Antonio Maceo Park, on Sunday, May 24, from 6 pm to 9 pm, and this encounter with the arts will also feature the attraction of Cuban music, giving color and rhythm to this area. The new proposals include the presence of a flower sales, sponsored by Reinier Leiva Novo and many more surprises, including a spectacular skating rink, created with a sophisticated material, placed outdoors, proposed by an Irish-American artist. And another attraction, planned for this area of the Havana seawall promenade is the plastic action consisting in the presence of a thousand pigeons that will fly on May 28, at 10 pm. For more information, see Detrás del muro in Facebook.

The project has the support of the National Council of Plastic Arts, which sponsors the Biennial of Havana along with Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Center , institution that has historically assumed the creation of this event, which grows every year. It also acquires special meaning the construction and renovation work of the area and its surrounding buildings by the Malecón Plan.

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