The Biennial finished … and ended up right up, happy. The number twelve of this event will be marked by a public interaction that undoubtedly separates it from its previous editions, let’s say it is not better or worse than the previous ones but different, much as it is this “country-planet” that moves opposite clockwise.
The Havana Biennial was uniquely Cuban. In the eye of the world as we always liked to be; boasting that we are a peculiar, but not superior distinct species. So this time thousands of foreign visitors came to “Discovery us” and we sold ourselves as such, objecting, of course, we have been that way for a while but that almost no one saw us.
The best of the works? Cuban art itself. This period served as a showcase to see what is happening and what will come, or at least to start making analysis. For now, what most fascinates me is what the market brings in terms of mobility. No matter to presume about thousands of collectors who came, the transcendent is that now, with obvious delay, it is expected the processes already ruled on the international art market to begin to be normalized (or distorted). Projects and exchanges with museums and curators of prestige and knowledge on specific Cuban artists is something given, the difference is that from now on, we will have to follow the steps to the circulation of works made by our artists in terms of transactions and sales.
The idea is not to create a worship to the speculative phenomenon because, according to many, the prices will go up; nor the artists are going to be in their workshops waiting for a “tour leader” with a bus full of buyers (such guides are gaining management power by creating hierarchies and priorities on what workshops are going to be visited or not by the buyers). Neither the point is that emerging artists to sell their parts between 20 000 and 30 000 US dollars or more … with no idea of how complex it is to protect prices, because otherwise they bet stagnated and the boomerang effect is just around the corner and the biggest losers are they and only they. It is just enough saying that the institutional management must be prepared and updated for these movements.
The noisiest Biennale is over and ended on Sunday May 21st at four in the afternoon, by way of a big party, in keeping with the spectacle that characterizes much of the world of visual arts on a global scale. While in the international mainstream that spectacle, which is often restrained and sober, here it finished dancing with Liszt Alfonso. For these times and those coming, the Cuban art should find the right balance to keep clear and with dignity in the sight of all those who bet on it.
Photos: Abel Rojas