The Tenth Havana Biennial will be inaugurated on March 27, 2009, on the
date of the 25th anniversary of its foundation. On this occasion the
event has been called together under the curatorial …

With the theme “Integration and Resistance in the Global Era”, the
Havana Bienal will celebrate its tenth edition in March-April 2009.
Twenty-five years after its founding, the meeting will propitiate a
reflection on its own history.

Since the beginning of this year, the curator team of Wifredo Lam
Contemporary Art Center has been working on the organization of the
tenth edition of the Havana Biennial.

Artists of forty-four countries from all continents will take part in
the Tenth Havana Biennial. The most represented region is that of Latin
America and the Caribbean.

The Tenth Havana Biennial will enable the analysis of current problems,
but with historical roots connected to what we today know as a new era
of globalizations or world contacts.

Havana, October 16, 2009

Colleagues of the art world:

The Tenth Havana Biennial will be inaugurated on March 27, 2009, on the
date of the 25th anniversary of its foundation. On this occasion the
event has been called together under the curatorial theme Integration
and Resistance in the Global Era. Up to the present, some 200 artists
from 44 countries have confirmed their participation. Likewise,
prestigious creators and critics have informed their interest in
attending the theoretical events of the Biennial, which will allow
Havana – in addition to being the largest gallery in the world in those
days – to become a favorable place for the debate and reflection on
essential problems of our contemporary world.

In like manner, a wide program of exhibitions of Cuban art will be
organized collaterally to the event that will show the richness and
plurality of the visual imagery produced by the artists from the Island.
The most diverse trends, forms and generations will have a space here,
from the large collections of the National Museum of Fine Arts to public
actions, performances, video projections and exhibitions in all the
galleries, art centers and many other spaces of the city. Particularly
outstanding in this context are the interventions in community spaces.

The city of Havana is also organizing a special program during the
Biennial days that will include music shows, dances, theatrical
performances, dance music and films, all of which will allow the
attendants to the event to enter in contact with the full cultural
wealth of the country and at the same time will grant them the unique
possibility to carry out exchanges, updatings and confrontations with
the artists, gallery owners, critics, guests and public in general
participating in the event.
Today more than ever, the Havana Biennial requires the solidarity and
support of all those who see culture as an essential means for human
emancipation and understanding. The Cuban institutions, the guest
artists and our capital city invite all those interested to share the
Tenth Biennial with us, and we already welcome you to it.

Rubén del Valle Lantarón

Director of the Tenth Havana Biennial

President of the National Council of Fine Arts

The Tenth Havana Biennial will take place during the months of March and April 2009, coinciding with the twenty-five years of its founding. This is a propitious circumstance to stimulate the reflection on its own history, particularly on those principles that served as base to convoke creators from Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, in a genuine climate of approach among us and of respect to the rest of the international community.

Since 1984 we have focused our attention on the artists from the South whose works represent concerns and conflicts – many times of universal scope – that are common to our regions. In this regard, issues like the existing tensions between tradition and contemporariness, the challenge to the historical colonization processes, the relations between art and society, the individual and his memory, human communication in the face of technological development and the dynamics of urban culture have become topics of particular interest, without distinction among the multiple forms of visuality that operate in culture as a system.

However, the Biennial cannot ignore the geopolitical reconfiguration occurred in recent years and consequently the increase in the number of countries that approach the conditions of the so-called South and those that, in precarious positions of development, aim at inserting themselves in the economic blocks of more favored countries.

The Biennial will take place within an allegedly globalized world that appears before us with many faces, complexities and conflicts, particularly when the discourse referred to it tends to arrange in order of importance the economic hegemony, the dependence and the control of information, ignoring the different stages of development and the socio-political orientations that coexist in the planet. Likewise, the coexistece of expressions, still in a pristine state of preservation, together with the most sophisticated forms of symbolical productions influenced by the development of new technologies gives clear proof of the deceit of the homogeneizing discourse of globalization.

Therefore, this implies recognizing a new logic of economic,
technological and human interconnections expressed in the dynamics of
relations between local, regional and global, which, in accordance with
that path of reflections started by the Havana Biennial more than twenty
years ago urges us to favor those differentiating shades and contextual
peculiarities derived from the processes of insertion and resistance to
globalization. We are in the face of the multiple influences, tensions
and reformulations of the problem of identity, so many times submitted
to scrutiny by historiography, the critics and the artists themselves.
When it seemed that we knew everything – or almost everything – about
ourselves, the new internal and external relations place us once more in
front of the mirror, emphasizing the procedural nature of identity,
favoring the contaminations at the same time it widens our knowledge of
the diverse.

If we live in an era in which some of the distinguishing features of our
regions and countries suffer modifications or even tend to dilute in
that complex process of integration, our contributions are to be more
visible as the transformers, protagonists and creators that we are, not
in terms of subordination or periphery.

The Tenth Havana Biennial will focus on the complexity of a real and
active integration to a global order, on one side, and on the capacity
of resistance in the face of the homogeneizing farce that it
presupposes, on the other. In the approach to these directives, the
event will reinforce its laboratory nature where trans-disciplinary
proposals and proposals of processes and experimentation in the visual
arts and other forms of culture will come together.

The curatorial team of this edition of the Biennial is made up by Rubén
del Valle Lantarón, Jorge A. Fernández Torres, Margarita González,
Nelson Herrera Ysla, José Manuel Noceda, Ibis Hernández Abascal,
Margarita Sánchez Prieto, Pepe Fernández Portal and Dannys Montes de Oca

Organizing Committee

Tenth Havana Biennial

Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Center

Artists of forty-four countries from all continents will take part in the Tenth Havana Biennial. The most represented region is that of Latin America and the Caribbean.

From that zone, Argentinian creators like Graciela Taquini, Leonel Luna, Martín Di Girolamo, Ananké Asseff, Marcos López, Diego Bianchi, Gabriela Golberg, and the duet Caraballo-Farman (Abou Farman and Leonor Caraballo) have confirmed their participation.

From Venezuela we will have the presence of Javier León, Juan Carlos Rodríguez, Susana Arwas and the duet Fabiola Arroyo-Luis Fabián Arroyo. 

Paraguay is represented by Carlos Colombino, Freddy Casco and the duet Erika Mesa and Javier López.

Juan Fernando Herrán Carreño, María Elvira Escallón, Milena Bonilla, Bárbara Cardoso, Wilson Díaz, Mario Opazo and Fernando Uhía will arrive to our country from Colombia.

The Mexican representation is made up by Irene Dubrovsky, Marcela Díaz, Idaid Rodríguez Romero, Abraham Cruz Villegas, the duet Nuevos Ricos (Julián Lede-Carlos Amorales) and Artemio Narro.

From Chile will arrive Máximo Corvalán, Mario Navarro, Claudia Aravena Abughosh, Patrick Hamilton, Bernardo Oyarzún, Mariella Sola, Romain Osi, Armando Miquélez Giambruno, Carolina Loyola and Gloria Loyola.

From Bolivia, Claudia Joskowicz has confirmed her presence. From Uruguay, Javier Abreu, Julia Castagno and Santiago Velazco. Perú will be represented by Ishmael Randall Weeks, Fernando Bryce and Eduardo Villanes Baricheva.

Also, from Haiti, Maxance Dennis and Jean Ulrich Désert; from Barbados, Annalee Davis; from Martinique, Alex Burke; Curaçao: Tirzo Martha; Suriname: Remy Jugerman; Trinidad and Tobago: Steve Ouditt; the Dominican Republic: Elia Alba, Fausto Ortiz and the Group Shampoo (Maurice Sánchez, Angel Rosario, Engel Leonardo and Miguel Canaán); Puerto Rico: Nayda Collazo-Llorens, Rafael Trellez and Carolina Caicedo.

From Honduras, as well, Lester Fernando Rodríguez and Antonio Adán
Vallecillo Sevilla; from Nicaragua, Wilbert Carmona and Raúl
Quintanilla; Costa Rica, Jorge Alban Dobles and Lucia Madriz; Panama,
Donna Conlon and Jonathan Harker; Guatemala, Darío Escobar and Regina
José Galindo; El Salvador, Walterio Iraheta and Ronald Morán.

From North America there will be representatives from Canada – Jamelie
Hassan, Annie Roy and Pierre Allard – and from the United States – Erika
Lord and Titus Kaphar.

From Japan, Takafumi Hara; from China, Liu Xiaudong, Chen Xiaoyun and
Chen Jiagang; and from Korea, Yong Soon Min will represent the Asian
continent, while from Europe creators Sebastiano Mauri, from Italy;
Sisley Xhafa, from Kosovo, and Lluis Barba, José Hernández Rivero,
Francisco José Guillén Abrante, Rafael Hierro Rivero and Pedro Déniz,
from Spain have confirmed their presence.

The list of African participants includes the South African artists
Manfred Zylla, Johannes Phokela, Andrew Putter, the duet Hasan
Essop-Husain Essop, and Berni Searle and Minnette Vári; from Mali,
Abdoulayé Konaté; from Zimbabwe, Daniel Halter; from Angola, Yonamine
and N?dilo Mutima; from Nigeria, Emeka Okereke, and Collective Black Box
(Uche Okpa-Iroha, Chiemela Elijah Azurunwa, Adeniyi Odeleye, Mary Onete
Kasim, braham Onorio de Oghobase, Ologeh Otuke Charles, Andrew Esiebo);
from Ghana, Philippe Kwane Apagya; from Cameroon, Wouete Lotchouang Guy
Bertrand (Guy Wouete); and from Zambia, Victor Mutelekesha.

Australia will be represented by the artists Darren Siwes and Michael

Lastly, Cuba – host country – has 17 artists on its payroll: Ángel
Alonso, Abel Barroso, the duet Reinerio Tamayo-Eulises Niebla, Glenda
León, Luis Gómez, Alexandre Arrechea, Inti Hernández, Juan Carlos
Rodríguez, Yoan Capote, Nelson Ramírez de Arellano-Luidmila Velasco,
Fernando Rodríguez, Ricardo Elías, José Angel Toirac-Meira
Marrero-Loring McAlping, Wilfredo Prieto, Lissette Castillo and the duet
Felipe Dulzaides-Roberto Gottardi.

By Margarita González Lorente

Since the beginning of this year, the curator team of Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Center has been working on the organization of the tenth edition of the Havana Biennial. After the presentation of the event’s document, which contained the main conceptual guidelines under the general topic of Integration and Resistance in the Global Era, the attention has been concentrated in trying to bring together the proposals of the guest artists under more specific themes of current interest.

The general theme of the Tenth Biennial opens a whole range of possibilities. The topics on identity, advertising, the technological contributions and their projection, the ecology as a very important issue in our days, the reflections concerning art and its possibility of modifying reality – all historical phenomena to a different extent – are essentially the guidelines on which the artists are communicating. However, when reviewing the projects we have realized that many topics already handled in other Biennials are still in full force. Others have even gained more force. The theme of migration, broached by many artists, takes the floor again, just like the phenomena of the trans-territoriality and the artist out of context — elements that place him perhaps in a privileged position when regarding other aspects of a reality that is not really his own.

Violence, war, war conflicts in general are other themes used by the creators to reflect — from the standpoint of art — what is happening today in our planet.

A total of eight projects of great artistic impact have been selected.

From Mexico we shall have the presence of the projects El maíz es nuestra vida (Corn is Our Life) and Bisagra (Hinge), two proposals that will handle crucial topics of our societies: foodstuffs and violence. In the case of El maíz…, the relevance of natural elements gains importance, the reflection on transgenic foodstuffs, their role in health; the rise in the price of something as vital as grains — an essential nourishment for the autochthonous populations — gain additional relevance in the artists’ proposals as a conceptual element.

Woman as an important element in the sustainment of the family and responsible for the maintenance is something that the proposal wishes to highlight. Forty-eight creators are developing not only the work as an object; their concern goes beyond it and reaches other spheres like the conduction of workshops and the direct link with the community. Bisagra essentially intends to handle something as topical as violence in our days, its impact on any society and its effects on the development of the individual.

There will be a proposal of six young Chinese artists, already fairly outstanding in that country’s cultural life, as part of the artistic explosion that has taken place in the Asian continent. Their works, on themes like identity, recycling and advertising, will be very interesting to see and valuate during the Biennial days.

Resistance and Freedom: Wifredo Lam, Raúl Martínez, José Bedia is a proposal of three Cuban artists presented by Corina Matamoros that integrates quite well to the Biennial. The presence of a sample of these important creators will grant the event a very special touch through the enjoyment of works whose essence and poetics implicitly carry in them the phenomena of resistance and integration.

Latitudes, Artists of the World, elaborated by French curator Regine
Cuzin, is another one of the projects to be presented, with a high
number of creators from many countries and a relevant dialogue
concerning identities, migrations and history. Tales From the New World
is a project presented by Cuban artist Humberto Díaz, with participation
of 13 creators from Cuba and other countries. The remaining group
proposals are Género (TRANS) Género y (des) Generados, by journalist
Andrés Abreu, a work that will include several lines of creation
pretending to link performances, theatrical arts and other actions as
well as the video show Sin Horizontes, from Colombia.

Special guests will be Louis Camnitzer, Leon Ferrari, Fernell Franco,
Antonio Ole, Shigeo Fukuda, Sue Williamson, Pepón Osorio, Guillermo
Gómez Peña and Antonio Martorell, the latter with one of his interesting
proposals that includes conferences, practical lessons and an exhibition
that will be presented in connection with the Havana Graphics Workshop.
Two other workshops complete this general outlook of the Biennial: one
by Tania Bruguera with her teaching experiences related to similar
practices in other countries of the world, and the other one of Latin
American videos, with interesting proposals.

These workshops will highlight something that has always been present in
the Biennials: the sense of projection in the teaching of art, the
relevance and weight it has always had and the vocation of social
insertion contained in the creators’ proposals.

The Project entitled Arte Contextual LASA, which will be carried out in
the neighborhood of San Agustín, conforms the general outlook of the
tenth edition of the Havana Biennial.

Approximtely 200 artists, including duets and groups, have already
confirmed their attendance. Cuba will be present with 17 selected
creators, some living abroad. Notwithstanding, the curator team is
presently working on the final definition of the projects, in direct
coordination with the participants.

Ranking from the most traditional of the visual arts to performance,
video shows and the most contemporary languages, the Biennial will be
debating a very interesting and current topic in a world that is
becoming more and more complex from the social, economic and political
points of view. It is a great challenge for the event to concretize the
ideas of our times through art on the basis of the contemporary artistic

As in almost all Biennials, the event spaces include the main art
institutions in our country: the Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Center,
leading and sponsoring organ together with the National Council of Fine
Arts; the Center for the Development of the Visual Arts; the Cuban Photo
Archive and the important spaces of the City Historian’s Office, among
many others will be showing the works of the guest artists and projects.

As in previous events, work has also been carried out in the conception
of the theoretical event or colloquium, where there will be debates on
the topics the Biennial wishes to address without pretending to exhaust

The preparation of the Biennial is permanent and will last all of 2008
plus the initial months of 2009. Thematic lines derived from the event’s
general concept will be drawn in the interest of organizing groups or
areas of reflection. Integration and Resistance in the Global Era will
tell about ourselves, about the problems in our countries, about society
and its reflection on art. It will be a moment of rejoicing and
happiness in celebration of a quarter of a century of an event that has
also resisted and integrated to the most contemporary and autochthnous
of our cultures.


Ever since their foundation in 1984, the Havana Biennials have promoted a space for reflection with a discourse of their own and a trend of thought oriented both from their different expositional nuclei and from the voices of numerous researchers, critics and essayists who have been invited historically to their theoretical event.

We have had the possibility of enjoying the participation of figures of the height of the Mexican Juan Acha; the Americans Lowery Sims and Shifra Goldman; the French Claude Esteban, Pierre Restany and Nicholas Bourreaud; the Spanish-Mexican Adolfo Sánchez Vázquez; the Indian Geeta Kapur; the Pakistani Rasheed Araeen; the Briton Guy Brett; the Uruguayan Luis Camnitzer; the Paraguayan Ticio Escobar; the Chilenin Nelly Richard; the Spaniards Eduardo Subirats and José Luis Brea and the Argentinian Sebastian López, only to name a few.

Their discourses have analyzed many of the situations and confrontation problems to which developing countries are submitted, and they have exposed domination strategies established as irreversible hegemonic models of the sphere of art.

We can assert that it is an open group of texts, conferences, ideas and reflections from the so-called Third World or about it, that goes beyond our geographical regions to trace a path, insert itself and define the bases of a new type of universal culture.

The conceptual platform Integration and Resistance in the Global Era – theme of the upcoming Biennial –, offers us a reference for the analysis of current problems but of historical roots, derived or associated to what today we know as a new era of globalization or world contacts.

The Theoretical Forum of the Tenth Havana Bienal pretends to offer a sufficiently extense range of topics in order to comprise the main problems affecting today’s world under the local-regional-global tensions.

It likewise Intends to articulate a dynamics of exchanges that takes
into consideration the very history of the Havana Biennial – its origin,
program and development – as the guideline from which many of the
practices of international art and culture today were promoted, at the
same time that, in continuation of that development, we might turn the
very theme of the Biennial into a metaphor, a tribute and – why not? –
the questioning of a project that arrives to its twenty-five years of

Among the international personalities convoked are the Briton Sebastián
López, the Spaniard Santiago Olmo, the Uruguayan Luis Camnitzer, the
Chilenin Nelly Richard, Julia Herzberg, from the United States and
Lliliam Llanes and Hilda María Rodríguez from Cuba.



Departamento de Relaciones Internacionales
Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam
10th Biennial of Havana
27 March – 30 April 2009
Twenty-fifth Anniversary

The 10th Biennial of Havana, to be held from March to April 2009 —
marking 25 years since the first of these exhibitions was organized—
will be an opportunity to look back on our history and to reflect on the
principles that have underpinned this gathering of artists from Latin
America, the Caribbean, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, in an
atmosphere where genuine togetherness, among us and the international
community in general, has prevailed.

Since 1984, we have focused our attention on South artists whose works
express concerns and conflicts common to our regions, many times of a
universal character. Topics which have piqued the interest of artists
have included the tensions between tradition and contemporary reality,
challenges to the historical processes of colonization, the
relationships between art and society, individuals and their memories,
the effects of technological development on human communication and the
dynamics of urban culture, issues which have been addressed through a
myriad of visual manifestations that operate within the cultural system.

The Biennial, however, cannot ignore the geo-political changes which
have taken place in recent years and, consequently, the growing number
of countries whose conditions begin to resemble those of the so-called
South and those which, in a precarious state of development, seek to
join the economic block of more privileged nations. In addition to this,
the Third World —a concept which has Depar rtamennt to de Relaaci
ionness Inteernnaacci ionalees Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo
Lamunderpinned our work for nearly twenty five years—has become a vague
term whose meaning is constantly shifting. Our interest, in view of
these phenomena, is to broaden the participation criteria with a view to
including artists from other countries and regions and those who, owing
to recent migratory processes, have come to be part of the First World,
where their cultures and idiosyncrasies take root. The Biennial will
take place in a supposedly globalized world which shows us many faces,
complex phenomena and conflicts, made more complex by a discourse which
tends to emphasize economic hegemony, dependency and the control of
information and to ignore the different stages of development and
socio-political leanings that co-exist in the world. Similarly, the
co-existence of age-old forms of expression which have lost none of
their original vigour with the most sophisticated of symbolic
productions, stemming from the development of new technologies, unveils
the fallacious nature of the homogenizing discourse about globalization.

What this entails is recognizing a new logic of economic, technological
and human interconnections which express themselves in the dynamic
relations between the local, the regional and the global and which, in
the tradition of reflecting upon these realities began over 20 years
ago, invites us to pay close attention to the singular nuances and
contextual particularities which stem from involvement in and resistance
to globalization. Thus, we are brought face to face with the many
influences, tensions and re-formulations of the question of identity,
repeatedly subjected to scrutiny by historiography, critiques and
artists themselves. When it seemed we knew everything —or almost
everything—about ourselves, new Depar rtamennt to de Relaaci ionness
Inteernnaacci ionalees Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam internal
and external relationships place us before the mirror once again,
reminding us that identity is a process, bringing about its
contamination and broadening our knowledge about what’s different. If we
live in an era in which some of the distinctive characteristics of our
regions and countries begin to suffer changes and even tend to become
diluted through a complex process of integration, our work must become
more visible, the expression of agents of change, the important and
creative actors we are, not of subaltern or peripheral voices.


The 10th Biennial of Havana will address, on the one hand, the
complexities of a real and active process of integration to the global
order and, on the other, the capacity to challenge the homogenizing
farce this process presupposes. In its treatment of these issues, the
gathering will act as a kind of laboratory where trans-disciplinary,
process-based and experimental works will converge, in the field of
visual arts and other cultural manifestations.

The group of curators for this Biennial is made up by Margarita
González, Nelson Herrera Ysla, José Manuel Noceda, Ibis Hernández
Abascal, Margarita Sánchez Prieto, José Fernández Portal and Dannys
Montes de Oca Moreda.


Havana Panorama

Organizing Committee
Tenth Biennial of Havana
Wilfredo Lam Contemporary Art Centre

Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam
(see our Information)

San Ignacio 22,
esquina a Empedrado
Plaza de la Catedral
La Habana Vieja / Cuba

Email: [email protected]
Website: www.bienalhabana.cult.cu

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