Believing in the possible

Believing is the first step in building everything that’s possible. And having believed in the potential of our magazine as a space for promotion of and reflection on Cuban art, has made us grow and get where we are today. For this issue 21, it was necessary to focus attention on the long-awaited Havana Biennial, which has just celebrated its 13th edition, defending precisely the motto of “the construction of the possible.” Along with it, we didn’t want to miss the opportunity of mentioning a person who was present from the foundational moments, not only of the Biennial –being its director for many years– but also of our magazine: Dr. Llilian Llanes, who has always inculcated in us the importance of remembering our history, but also cementing and documenting the present that, in the end, will be the memory of the future.

Our intention hasn’t been to elaborate an exhaustive compendium of what was displayed in this Biennial, but rather to provide a general overview of it, to help complement the experience of those who had the opportunity of experiencing it, and to share ours with those who followed it from afar. In this sense, Nelson Herrera Ysla words have been very timely, as well as that of other members of the curatorial team, whom we thank for sharing some of their experience with us. In this respect we also have, from another perspective, the reflections of the researcher Maylin Pérez Parrado.

Many were the projects that caught our attention –although we are in debt with some of them for future issues. We saw how, for the third time, the surroundings of the Malecón were invaded by the artistic proposals of Detrás del Muro; of great interest was the exhibition Intersecciones, of Factoría Habana; as well as Taller Chullima and Viaje Infinito, both under the direction of artist Wilfredo Prieto. On the other hand, we took note of NPC: Non Playable Character, an exhibition that, in the framework of the biennial, brought together artists from and game-art in Fanguito eStudio.

We thought it important to remember the role played by Old Havana and its Office of the Historian, with the reflections of its famous figure Eusebio Leal Spengler, especially since the recently concluded Biennial was dedicated to the 500th Anniversary of the City. And speaking of memories, we also reserve a place for the participation of the University of the Arts (ISA) throughout its different editions.

We couldn’t resist the temptation of “traveling” through the work of three artists who are already essential in Cuban art, of which we witnessed their respective exhibitions at the beginning of 2019 and who also participated, in one way or another, in this Biennial: the sculptures of Oliva, the self-portraits of Tonel and the photographs of Raúl Corrales.

Finally, we are presenting the work of some people who, as collectors, have shown their interest and passion for Cuban art: the Rice family, who like many others, have not stopped believing in the strength of our artistic production. Like them, Art OnCuba assumes the challenge, already proposed by this 13th biennial, of betting on Cuban art and continuing to contribute our bit in the construction of everything we believe possible.


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