12 Bienal de La Habana
Jorge Fernandez Torres
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When a Biennial ends and the research for the new one begins, there are imperceptible traces of what for some reason remained undone. That was the challenge assumed by the curator team of this twelfth edition when defining its main work guidelines. The moment was coincident with the 30 years of the Havana Biennial. Together with the anthological exhibitions organized in celebration, an international theoretical event was held with excellent participation of guests. The specialized public had an outstanding participation on this occasion that proved unique to review what had been achieved and think again of the future.
Unlike the experience of recent editions, our specialists succeeded in visiting some of the geographical zones they have investigated, although the process still lacks a more systematic presence and more time for exploration in Africa, Asia and Middle East. Also included in this analysis is the present urge to define our position with regard to what was once known as Third World, a term that is presently subject of debate. Nevertheless, the dialogue between the regions of the South is still pending, even if they include all the decentralization that takes place in a both local and global world, conscious that the large majority of artists in the planet only circulate in their own countries.
Although in the latest editions we have been increasing the presence of artists from Europe and North America, the majority of our guests are still from Latin America. We have not given up incorporating creators from strategic places of the already mentioned regions, which are the central object of our exploration. The Havana Biennial reaffirms itself as space where those with no voice are granted a voice, and attempts to present a type of work that is not what we normally find in fairs or in the market, beyond the complexity and confusion that may derive from the collateral programming during the event.
JORGE FERNÁNDEZ TORRES