The Havana Biennial will be celebrated from March 27 through April 30, 2009, under the general theme Integration and Resistance in the Global Era. This conceptual platform will be the basis for the Theoretical Event we will celebrate during the first week of the event.
The Theoretical Event consists of sessions at the theater of the National Museum of Fine Arts as well as an online Forum. The Theoretical Event will hold its sessions according to the format of individual presentations and/or panels, which will be determined by the Organizing Committee according to the requirements of the program. Notwithstanding, your work will appear as an author’s paper in the volume we will publish, which will be handed to you once the event has started. The texts selected for the event’s sessions and for that publication will head each one of the themes of the online forum.
The deadline for the delivery of the texts will be September 30, 2008. The Organizing Committee of the Tenth Havana Biennial and its Theoretical Event reserves the right to exclude those works that do not correspond to the themes we have proposed or do not reach the required quality.
You may send us your text in English, Spanish or French languages. The text should not exceed fifteen (15) pages in double space and Word format. As additional information you must send us a brief biographical summary not exceeding six (6) lines, as well as the technical requirements for your public presentation in case you wish to accompany it with visual information. You will be given every facility for the use of slides, video films and multimedia for the presentation.
The Havana Biennial does not have the necessary resources to pay your trip, fees and stay in Havana. However, we may send you an official letter of invitation with a view to start any procedure you may require in your country, once your participation has been confirmed by our curatorial team.
For any information on the procedures concerning visa, trip and stay in Havana, you may contact:
José Camilo Valls, Head of the International Relations Department
and Dannys Montes de Oca
Organizer of the Theoretical Event regarding the participation specifically in this event.
Tenth Havana Biennial
10th Havana Biennial, Theoretical Event:
Integration and Resistance in the Global Era
Conceptual framework and topics
Since their founding in 1984, the Havana Biennials have promoted a space for reflection with a discourse of their own and a theoretical outlook based on experiences gathered from their different exhibition centers and the voices of numberless critics, researchers and essayists who have been invited to their theoretical events along the years. Among others we have succeeded in counting with figures of the height of Juan Acha (Mexico), Lowery Sims (U.S.A.), Claude Esteban (France), Adolfo Sánchez Vázquez (Spain/Mexico), Geeta Kapur (India), Rasheed Araeen (Pakistan), Guy Brett (England), Luis Camnitzer (Uruguay), Ticio Escobar (Paraguay), Shifra Goldman (U.S.A.), Nelly Richard (Chile), Eduardo Subirats (Spain), Pierre Restany (France), Sebastián López (Argentina/England), Nicolás Bourreaud (France) and José Luis Brea (Spain). These reflections, more than being theoretical contributions have presented in a hybrid manner many of the situations and problems faced by developing countries, and have denounced domination strategies established as irreversible, hegemonic models in the field of art. We can assert that these texts, conferences, ideas and reflections from the so called Third World or close to it transcend our geographical regions and trace a road to insert ourselves and define the bases of a new universal culture.
In this regard, the conceptual platform Integration and Resistance in the Global Era as theme of the Tenth Havana Biennial to be held in March 2009 provides us with a referential framework for the analysis of current problems with historical roots derived or linked to what is known today as a new era of globalizations or world contacts. This referential framework pretends to transcend the very ideology of economic globalization as a stage of "wild" capitalism, of which our developing countries would become part in the category of "Others" (opposed, subordinate or victims), to present us that other side of the global problem in which we produce by ourselves answers that are part of a dynamics of world echoes and stand out as transforming agents and protagonists of events that in many cases are original, peculiar and unique.
This urges us to devote ourselves to the study of the local artistic productions, which have differentiating shades in their contextual peculiarities and with regard to the "universalizing" dynamics of an allegedly global world, in order to analyze both the ideas about globalization, the basis of its discourse and the echoes in the institutional macro system of art, such as the cultural and artistic practices that evidence their staging and articulation. It is obviously a profoundly interconnected international situation but which also includes semi-isolated forms or practices capable of tracing other roads of integration and resistance to the universal and global.
The Theoretical Forum of the Tenth Havana Biennial intends to offer a sufficiently wide analytical agenda to cover the main issues affecting today’s world under the local-regional-global tensions. It likewise attempts to articulate a dynamics of changes taking into consideration the very history of the Havana Biennial —its origin, program and development— as guideline for the promotion of many of the practices of international art and culture today, while as a continuation of that process we might turn the Biennial’s theme itself into a metaphor, a tribute and —why not?— into the questioning of a project that is approaching its 25th anniversary.
The Theoretical Forum of the Tenth Havana Biennial will comprise an international debate previous to the meeting at the Theatre of The National Museum of Havana and the Forum online. This exchange of ideas will take place through interviews with artists, curators, theorists, etc., and conferences that will circulate in printed form. This exchange will be oriented both to the international and the Cuban contexts, and it will serve to draw the concepts or guidelines on the topic with a view to prepare the public for the understanding of the Tenth Biennial. It will also include the publication of a selection of texts with ideas derived from the different Havana Biennials and their theoretical events, as well as the edition of the book Theoretical Event of the Tenth Havana Biennial, which will present the participants with the works that will be discussed in March 2009 in its traditional venue, the theater of the National Museum of Fine Arts.
Topics in Debate
I. General Topics
I.I. The Ideas on Globalization. Concept.
Its ideology. Theoretical bases. Implementation in an international cultural context. Globalization as reproduction of old production/circulation methods and their new versions.
I.II. The Art System in the Global Era
Biennials of a New World.
Biennials in today’s world. Old biennials and new topics. Modernity as antiquity in the global era. New biennials emerged under shelter and with the help of the new international political organization. Most recent trends in the international promotion of art: biennials vs. fairs; biennials and the international art market. Art absent from biennials.
Extracurricular Art Practices and the Global Institutional System.
A particular approach to the extracurricular artistic practices. Their historical development and contemporary models. Extracurricular art practices within the western model of the art institution and beyond it or associated to traditional cultural practices.
The Art Critic and the Global Institutional System.
The art critic in the face of the reduction of public debate and reaffirmation of global markets. The crisis of the art critic as autonomous and institutional model. The art critic and traditional art practices that have become contemporary. The art critic and the cultural industry, establishment of a global consumption system that ignores and disregards other aesthetic practices of socialization.
Museums, Education and Globalization.
The museum as tourist destination. New utopias about the museum. Museums as micro cosmos of global signs and symptoms. New models of education for art. The museum and education as a space of exclusion.
II. Topics by Geographical Areas
Latin America and the Caribbean
Economic and cultural transnational companies. Alternative sustainability. Popular art vs globalization, standardization, homogenization. Contemporary ethnographies. Corporate strategies in art. Committed art and light art. Urban artists/craftsmen and citizenship. Trans-disciplinary projects. The leisure art and industry. "Globananalization". Modernization processes and integrationist policies. Neo-liberalism and local cultures. Cultural, economic and political flows and transactions. Artists and craftsmen compromising and facing globalization. Information flow in the Web and its use by social groups and artistic communities. Trivialization of the religious phenomenon in reply to social problems. New subjective identities and global conflicts. The body in the face of the global. Border culture. Global standards of consumption vs. memory and identity. Violence and death as topics of art and life.
Africa: dialogue between different cultures, the interrelation of cultures and the integration of Africa in the face of integration models and resistance to the global era. Africa and the great Western artworks. Post-colonial art. Contemporary creation and new identities. New media in African visual arts. Tradition and modernity in contemporary African art. The African international art market. Communities of craftsmen and alternative workshops of artists in the face of the market problem. War conflicts, natural disasters, daily violence between art and the borders of the human. Traditional art within the limits of contemporariness.
Repertoire based on images of consumption and international trade. New appropriation of iconographic references and of Western mass culture. Presence of Asian art in the contemporary world. Natural, philosophical and mythological traditions in contemporary Asian art. Multi-cultures, memory and sectioned tradition. Historical processes and cultural interbreeding. Industrial design and technological advances in artistic culture. Peculiarities of the global concept from the Asian perspective. Dramatic situations and social conflicts.
Occidental Europe and Eastern Europe
New technological media. International reception of contemporary art in the Eastern European countries (Zoo effect). Repercussions of the historical and cultural change in the art scene of the last twenty years. A new image and an old history of nations. The body and technology. Historical processes and autonomy in art. The establishment of a new cultural infrastructure. Trans-disciplinary projects. Media signs and landscapes. Art in war and after war. Art and the media.
III. Specific projects
It is expected to include those specific projects that reinforce the thematic guidelines and topics in debate in the form of aesthetic, sociological and political essays, whether or not they are part of the exhibitions of the Tenth Havana Biennial. In this regard, artists, curators, critics, essayists, etc., will have the possibility to speak about these experiences and their local and international repercussions.
>> 10th Havana Biennial, 2009
Biennials section of Universes in Universe
10th Havana Biennial
Integration and Resistance in the Global Era
Call for submissions
30 Sept. 2008
Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam
San Ignacio 22
esq. a Empedrado
Plaza de la Catedral
La Habana Vieja