HAVANA._ Cuba is livening up the Art Biennale of Venice, Italy, with great poetry.

The president of the National Plastic Arts Council, Rubén del Valle, is convinced that the pieces chosen are good bets for art as a space that defies market rules, plainness, and semantic emptiness.

The president of the National Plastic Arts Council, Rubén del Valle, is convinced that the pieces chosen are good bets for art as a space that defies market rules, plainness, and semantic emptiness.According to the official, the Cuban proposals during the two previous editions as well as the current one adopt the same approach of Havana’s Art Biennale The latter emerged as an alternative to the Venetian one as it was ruled and organized by the countries’ purchasing power.

“The curatorial concepts advocated so far by Jorge Fernández (director of the Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Center) keep on with the tradition of choosing the crème de la crème of the Havana Biennale, as the decision is made by talented and experimental artists of Cuba’s artistic avant-garde, regardless of their age, who praise intelligence and poetry,” del Valle highlighted. 

For the Cuban exhibition area in Venice, Fernández has chosen works that portray the relation between the artist’s individuality and the context.

“The harsh, dramatic element or euphoria that may result from the Cuban context, almost always determines how Cuban artists and their work are viewed and analyzed. Even though the context is always important for any creator, it is not the only determining factor. Sensitivity has many nuances, and I think that there has been lot of opportunism when it comes to criticism. That is why many of the conferences at the Havana Biennale will be given by artists, and not theoreticians, because it is necessary to bring out the artist’s personality even more in the contemporary art scene,” said Fernández, the main organizer of Havana’s Biennale or Cuba’s largest and most important plastic arts events.

The artists representing Cuba at the world’s oldest art biennial in Venice include Grettel Rasúa with De la Permanencia y Otras Necesidades (About Permanence and Other Needs), Luis Gómez with La Revolución Somos Nosotros (We are the Revolution), Celia and Yunior with Apuntes en Hielo (Notes on Ice) and Susana Pilar with Dominio Inmaterial (Immaterial Authority.)

Rasúa will show her work as an installation because having her licking a cactus is not something that can be done on a daily basis. However, the audiovisual technology helps her recreate a performance that conveys a dialogue between the human being and painful personal affairs.

“We have to deal with hard things in life and have to do it the best we can because, otherwise, they only get worse,” the young artist and professor at the San Alejandro Plastic Arts School said.

Meanwhile, Gómez’s work revolves around power relations in art, not with regard to artistic production but with the artist and his works.

“I do not have as much money as other European artists but here are my cards,” he said after explaining that the symbolic piece he is presenting in Venice is composed of half a million of his business cards.

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