Habanarte: the distinction of art

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For many years Havana has been a source of inspiration and creation for musicians, writers and plastic artists. With all its colorfulness and singularity it keeps encouraging creators and cultural managers to make projects that stress its features, greatness and originality. These principles were assumed as basis to celebrate of the first edition of the Habanarte Festival, which took place from September 11 to 21; this event was created to stand out the art that is made in the country.

The slogan “All art at once” defined this first gathering where it attended about a thousand artists who come from different cultural spheres. Visual arts stood out with the inaugurations of exhibitions and projects that had as main venues some galleries of Havana. Among them there was the expo-selling Post-it, which welcomed a significant number of young artists at galleries like 7ma a 28, Galiano and Collage Habana. Organized by the Cuban Fund of Cultural Assets, the second edition of the exhibition has a wide artistic offer, which includes expressions like painting, photography, installation, among others. One of the most significant works in the exhibition is “Entropy” (2014) by the group Triangle, installation where the sound created by a stereo amplifier causes a series of waves that in turn make up different images. The works made by artists less than 35 years of age were re-evaluated by a jury made up by critics and art experts of the country that will announce winners at the beginning of October.

Another project exhibited in this first festival of arts was Havana Open House, which allowed visiting about ten workshops of famous creators from the contemporary scene. The public had the chance to know some spaces where these artists create their works, being witnesses of all the creative processes in which they got involved.  All the meetings encouraged dialogues with different authors who revealed their experiences and ways to make art having Havana as landscape.

The sixth Exhibition of Cuban Contemporary Art was other of the great events that in reference to the visual arts was inaugurated during the Habanarte Festival. This Exhibition was began and directed by the Development Centre of Visual Arts (CDAV), and it also included an elaborated program of activities and exhibitions. Among these activities there is the exhibition X´l 2 (by the two), which showed the most recent production of artists from the country. This sixth edition took as a curator essential principle “the creation, distribution and consume of information” in places that are typical or external to art. The artists invited to the event made this subject their own from different shapes and resources showing their multiple discursive as well as creative possibilities. Within the pieces showed at the CDAV and at the Photo library of Cuba (which was also a venue of the exhibition), it stands out “Exergo”, by Yornel J. Martínez, who between 2012 and 2014 has been doing a series of interventions in the marquees of different movie theatres of Havana where the publicity boards of movies are thrown away for verses and poetical phrases of some authors. The work, still on process, looks for giving new senses and meanings to the poetic text as well as to the marquees, because both functions are subverted. When they go out from the typical spaces for art, the interventions become a lyrical-expressive gesture, a way of visual poetry. The truth is that Havana and its inhabitants are put in front of the unknown of what is announced, what is exposed, what is declared.

Like that it took place the Habanarte Festival, which will have to wait a new edition to join once again and show all what creators and artists reproduce about Havana from their Art. 

Yesel Melo Proveyer

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