Organisers vow to run their own exhibition after government postpones official event
The democratically minded #00Bienal will be “the Havana Biennial for everyone”, says the artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, one of the main organisers of the event. The aim is to provide a platform for artists who do not have the visibility or official status to participate in a government-sponsored biennial. Street, Outsider, performance, digital and conceptual artists and photographers are all invited to submit proposals.
The inclusive event has met with some opposition from Cuba’s Communist authorities. Alcántara has been arrested and released by police twice, and has received threats about proceeding with the #00Bienal and other political art projects, he says—but he remains undeterred. He says that “the government made a grave error” when it postponed the Havana Biennial, describing it as “the most important cultural event in the country”.
Other artists and curators, including Tania Bruguera, Alvaro Saavedra and Coco Fusco, as well as independent cultural spaces in Havana, have volunteered to help realise the #00Bienal. It will be completely self-funded and will not seek money from the state. The crowdfunding campaign will help to cover the cost of catalogues, programmes and merchandising, plus production expenses for a website, an app and possibly an online platform for live events.