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by Anita Orzes

Curatorial Networks: The Havana Biennial and the Biennials in the South

The Havana Biennial generated earthquakes and instability within the hegemonic culture and marked a turning point, since it opened the way for the recognition and valorization of the culture representing three quarters of the planet (Africa, Asia, Latin America, Caribbean and the Middle East) in an integrating space. Its ambitious project had to deal with the lack of knowledge of the artistic practices of these regions and the geopolitical context of the Cold War. Analysis of its triad structure (exhibitions, workshops, and theoretical meetings) makes it possible to highlight how the Havana Biennial was traversed by networks articulated around common projects and shared horizons and how intersections were created with other biennials in the South.

The Havana Biennial, "an open window to infinite dreams and reflections, and a way to contribute to the understanding of the world,"[2] would not only have to be a place to exhibit the extensive, intense, and rich variety of artistic expressions of what was then known as the Third World, but also a platform from where to submit to judgment and debate its theoretical and critical inquiries, promoting a horizontal dialogue. In 1989, the Havana Biennial celebrated its third edition with a triad structure that was more clearly defined in comparison to the two previous editions. In fact, in the third edition, a thematic axis (Tradición y contemporaneidad en el arte del Tercer Mundo) of reflection was established, the competitive character of the event was eliminated and the division by nationalities was abandoned. This was the result of a work of reflection, definition, and experimentation that began after the first Havana Biennial,[3] when Llilian Llanes took over the direction of the Wifredo Lam Center,[4] the organizing institution, and its curatorial team[5] was constituted (José Luis Alaya, Leticia Cordero, Ibis Hernández Abascal, Nelson Herrera Ysla, Gerardo Mosquera, José Manuel Noceda, Margarita Sánchez, Eugenio Valdés). Taking the aims of the event as their basis, and reflecting on its singularity in opposition to the Western biennial format, the curatorial team decided to articulate the biennial in conceptually communicative and interconnected sections: exhibitions (the exhibition-essay and the special projects), workshops (between artists or with the participation of the public), and theoretical meetings. The exhibitions were configured as an essay through which to exhibit a theme and offer multiple points of view. The workshops had to favor exchange between artists from many countries, contribute to the enrichment of Cuban artists, and facilitate the approach and participation of the local public. Finally, through theoretical meetings, it aimed to enrich the conceptual character of the event and to establish the basis for future debates and relationships.

Analysis of this triad structure makes it possible to highlight how the Havana Biennial was traversed by networks articulated around common projects and shared horizons. It is possible to identify, on the one hand, intellectual networks in Latin America already active in the Seventies, and which found in Havana a new space for reflection and, on the other hand, curatorial networks and alliances with other biennials that were generated in and from the research trips.

Anita Orzes, Curatorial networks and participation in the theoretical meetings of the Third Havana Biennial (1989), 2020. ©Anita Orzes

Intellectual Networks and Theoretical Meetings
At the third Havana Biennial (1989), the theoretical meetings were divided into two sections: Tradición y contemporaneidad en la plástica del Tercer Mundo and Tradición y contemporaneidad en el ambiente del Tercer Mundo, and they were accompanied by the Tribuna Libre.[6] Among the participants were Juan Acha, Mirko Lauer, Frederico Morais and Pierre Restany. It is interesting to note how, throughout the theoretical meetings that aimed to analyze and question the notions of modernity, tradition, and contemporaneity in their g-locality, breaking down the historical mediation produced by the West, there were references and allusions to, and criticisms of, the biennial reality in Latin America and the Caribbean. In fact, since the 1950s, Latin America and the Caribbean had been experiencing the complexity of the biennial phenomenon through multiple attempts to establish the format,[7] various typologies of biennials (regional or international) and approaches (specialized in one technique or including several), different forms of financing (public or private, national, or foreign capital), and the perpetuation of the São Paulo Biennial (1951).

During his lecture in Tradición y contemporaneidad en la plástica del Tercer Mundo, Mirko Lauer referred to the first Latin-American Biennial of São Paulo (1978) as "the most direct antecedent of this Havana Biennial."[8] On the other hand, Frederico Morais defined the Latin American biennials as "points of advanced cultural colonization,"[9] stressing how art history continued to be narrated from a Euro-American perspective and emphasizing the need for Latin America to "make itself seen and heard, and even to modify spheres of world art."[10] The biennial had to abandon the informative approach, adopted until then, in favor of a critical-formative one based on analysis, review, selection, and discussion.[11]

Frederico Morais and Mirko Lauer, together with Juan Acha[12] and Aracy Amaral,[13] belonged to the network of intellectuals who considered that the format of Western biennials was not adapted to Latin America and the Caribbean and instead, pointed to research biennials,[14] conceived to analyze and understand the present through a strong reflective component, specialized in a geographical area and without awards. They considered this format the most effective for researching the region's artistic production, for mutual knowledge and for promoting exchanges and relationships between artists and critics from various regions. These agents were involved in two important initiatives, the first Latin-American Biennial of São Paulo (1978) and the First Colloquium on Non-Objectual Art and Urban Art (1981) in Medellín, which sought to build a space of equality, putting the colonial power relations reproduced in the biennials up for debate, and expanding and transforming the format.

The first Latin-American Biennial of São Paulo was a biennial dedicated exclusively to artists from Latin America and the Caribbean, which abandoned the model of national representations and organized the exhibition around four concepts: indigenous, African, Eurasian and mestizo.[15] The Biennial was complemented by the symposium Mitos e Magia,[16] under the direction of Juan Acha, in which, in addition to analyzing the specificity and problems of Latin American art, a section was dedicated to the discussion of its second edition, which did not take place in the end.[17] The considerations that arose from this meeting, such as the ineffectiveness of biennials without a precise focus of research, the limits of the São Paulo Biennial and the imperative need to modify the structure imported and adopted from Venice, were taken up by Juan Acha to conceive the First Colloquium on Non-Objectual Art and Urban Art and the related exhibition[18] at the Museum of Modern Art of Medellín (MAMM). This colloquium was a further attempt to imagine alternatives to the conventional biennial model, bringing together theory, practice, and experience. It was conceived with two interrelated components: a colloquium, in which Latin American researchers participated (Aracy Amaral and Mirko Lauer were some of the guests), and an exhibition in which the proposals of non-objectivist artists were presented and in which public activities and discussions were prioritized.

Two other events were taking place simultaneously in Medellín[19]: the fourth Medellín Biennial[20] and the Meeting of the Association of Art Critics. Pierre Restany participated in both and questioned the Medellín Biennial itself, especially its interest in strengthening ties and making comparisons between Latin America and the West. He suggested redirecting the Biennials attention to Asia and Africa, establishing a direct connection between these regions and the countries of Latin America [and the Caribbean] to enrich the dialogue and make it more relevant.[21] The French critic then suggested the creation of a "biennial of difficult identities,"[22] a Third World Biennial, understanding the Third World as a methodological concept. This is not the first time that Pierre Restany advocated a change in the biennial format that Latin America had imported from the West. In fact, after his first visit to the eighth São Paulo Biennial (1965), he wrote two articles, one in the Correio da Manhã[23] and another in the Italian magazine Domus,[24] claiming that the São Paulo Biennial should be structured around a central theme, chosen by a commission of international specialists who would select the artists, and abandon the model of national representation. In fact, within the framework of the tenth São Paulo Biennial (1969) Pierre Restany was organizing the exhibition Arte e Tecnologia with the aim of organizing an event that would move away from the structure that São Paulo had maintained until then and anticipate the reform of the Biennial itself. His intention was to organize an anti-biennial exhibition within the Biennial itself.[25] In the end, the project was not carried out because Pierre Restany joined the "Non à la Biennale" movement.[26] He was one of the intellectuals advocating for a change in the biennial format who attended and participated in the aforementioned editions under review of the Havana Biennial. After visiting the second edition of the Biennial, he wrote an article in Cimaise[27] praising the participatory (the workshops with the public) and discursive (the theoretical meetings) component of the event. In the following edition, he participated in Tradición y contemporaneidad en la plástica del Tercer Mundo as well as in the Tribuna libre. He emphasized the complexity of the diagnostic study of the artistic practices of the Third World, as well as their identities, and underlined the importance of the continuity of the collective reflection that had begun in the previous edition.[28]

Anita Orzes, Reconstruction of Gerardo Mosquera's research trips to Africa (1985-1987), 2020. ©Anita Orzes

Research Trips and Biennials in the South
The ambitious project of the Havana Biennial was faced with the isolation of the island, the cut-off relations with most of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, and the lack of knowledge of the artistic practices of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. From the beginning, the direction of the Wifredo Lam Center understood the need and importance of carrying out research in situ to get to know the local art scene first-hand. Since these research trips were not financially supported by the Ministry of Culture, two mapping strategies were implemented: invitations to events abroad and cultural agreements with Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, which established a commitment to exchange exhibitions. The curatorial team of the Wifredo Lam Center prepared and offered exhibitions to these countries, on the condition that they be accompanied by the corresponding curators.[29] After the trips, meetings were organized where the specialists[30] of the Center presented the collected material and a project for the biennial, which was submitted to collective discussion.

The invitation received to attend the sixth India Triennial and the sending of exhibitions to the African continent are two examples that explain both the scale and resonance of the research trips and the partnerships that were forged.

In 1985, Nelson Herrera Ysla visited the sixth India Triennial, accepting the invitation extended to the Wifredo Lam Center by the Lalit Kala Akademi, the institution organizing the Triennial. This trip served not only to corroborate the previous selection of Indian artists for the second Havana Biennial (1986), but also to discover new artists (Vivan Sundaram and Nalini Malani) who were invited to participate, to get a better picture of the artistic scene of New Delhi and to identify Geeta Kapur as a key figure.[31] This theorist was part of the jury at the second Havana Biennial and participated in the theoretical meeting of the third edition. In her speech, she emphasized the need to rethink the concepts of tradition and modernity, to avoid replicating the exploitative relations created by Western countries, and how intellectuals and artists should consolidate a discourse and a compendium of cultural practices within the political entity of the Third World. At the same time, Llilian Llanes, in the presentation of the third Havana Biennial, underlined the extraordinary mixture of peoples and cultures that make up the Third World, the interest in the (re)affirmation of their roots, and singularities in the face of the hegemonic forces that sought to deform and homogenize them. She also emphasized the obligation to go on the offensive to take an active role in the "universal" culture that had been imposed on them until now.[32]

Two exhibitions took place in India in the 1980s that both reflect and complement these approaches: Place for People (1981) and Questions and Dialogue (1987). On the one hand, Place for People reflected on the dilemma between the local and the international and wondered how European and American cultural hegemony had limited, and even denied, the advance of artistic modernism in India. Geeta Kapur participated in the curatorship and wrote "Partisans Views about the Human Figure,"[33] the exhibition's manifesto. Questions and Dialogue, on the other hand, was articulated around the need to reject the practices of the mainstream, to rethink the concept of national identity, and to make art a social and revolutionary tool.[34] Many of the artists who participated in these two exhibitions also took part in the second and third Havana Biennial, including Sudhir Patwardhan, Gulammohammed Sheikh, Nalini Malani, Vivan Sundaram, Bhupen Khakhar and Jogen Chowdhury. The reiteration of these names, the approaches of these two exhibitions, and the issues addressed by the Havana Biennial show that at that time India and Cuba shared interests and concerns regarding the dilemma between the local and the international, art as a social tool, and alternative approaches to the concept of identity.[35]

In addition to the Indian participation in the exhibition-essay Tres Mundos (third Havana Biennial), there was also considerable African participation. Some of the artists who participated were Sylvestre Mangonandza, Cyrille Bokotaka, Nicholas Mukomberanwa, Yerly Mpo or Daniel Ngaouka. The participation of these artists was part of the network that Gerardo Mosquera had been establishing with several African countries since the preparation of the second Havana Biennial (1986).

Gerardo Mosquera travelled to Africa twice: the first time in 1985, as curator of the exhibition África dentro de Cuba, which was sent to Angola and Mozambique,[36] and the second time in 1987 as a member of the jury of the second Biennial of Contemporary Bantu Art. This Biennial, organized by and within the political project of the International Centre for Bantu Civilizations (CICIBA), was dedicated to promoting and preserving the plastic arts of Bantu artists, defending their purity from Western influences. It was an itinerant biennial with seven editions between 1985 and 2002 that took place in Libreville, Kinshasa, Bate and Brazzaville.[37] At the second Biennial of Contemporary Bantu Art, Gerardo Mosquera was not only part of the jury, but also curator of the exhibition Expériences de la diaspora in which three Cuban artists of Bantu origin participated: Minerva López, René de la Nuez and Ricardo Rodríguez Brey. They were present at the second Havana Biennial and would go on to take part in third edition. Expériences de la diaspora was a special project within the Biennial of Contemporary Bantu Art, as it included the Bantu diaspora not contemplated in the initial approach of the biennial.[38] The catalogue justified this choice by emphasizing the effort of Cuban artists to recover the cultural values of their African ancestors, "as a reaction to the cultural métissage favored by the intrusion of Western values into their original cosmogonies and ontologies.”[39] It then goes on to praise the investigative work being carried out by the Wifredo Lam Center, a transnational collaboration which continued until the fourth Biennial of Contemporary Bantu Art (1991).

This collaboration was useful to learn more about the Bantu creators and to strengthen alliances. Examples of these are, on the one hand, the participation of Émile Mokoko, co-president of the Bantu Association of Visual Artists (ABAP), in the first Biennial of Contemporary Bantu Art (1985) and in the second Havana Biennial (1986). On the other hand, the participation of Yerly Mpo and Daniel Ngaouka in the second Biennial of Contemporary Bantu Art (1987) and in the third Havana Biennial (1989).

Always within the mapping strategies developed through the research trips, Expériences de la diaspora was sent to Zaire, Gabon, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Nigeria and, through that, Gerardo Mosquera was able to gain a deeper understanding of their artistic scenes.[40] The result was reflected in the increased participation of African countries and artists in the third Havana Biennial, where the "Adiré" workshop was also held, taught by Nigerian artist Oyewunmi Fagbenro, which consisted in teaching the traditional technique of dyeing fabrics to decorate cloths.

Final considerations
The Havana Biennial held its first edition in 1984. In the 1980s, the biennial phenomenon, that is, the proliferation of biennials, was already widespread at the global level.[41] In the article, a brief reference has been made to the complexity of the biennial reality in Latin America and the Caribbean due to the typologies of biennials, approaches, objectives, and forms of financing. This complexity is common to other geographical areas such as Europe, Africa, and Asia and is intensified when their transnationality is analyzed.[42] In spite of the fact that the biennial format was already widespread, and that some were regional biennials, the arrival of the Havana Biennial marked a turning point, since it opened the way for the recognition and valorization of the cultures representing three quarters of the planet in an integrating space. The Havana Biennial enabled the construction of an immense and complex cultural architecture, creating new territories of intersection and friction between geographies and identities. It generated earthquakes and instability within the hegemonic culture. The uniqueness of this geopolitical and cultural project is unquestionable. However, when analyzing the history and evolution of the biennial format, the format created in Venice and adopted by several biennials, it is possible to identify attempts (first Latin-American Biennial of São Paulo and First Colloquium on Non-Objectual Art and Urban Art) to change it, adapting it to the specificity of each reality. This demonstrates the need to rethink and rewrite the linear history of the biennials. Similarly, the analyzed exhibitions demonstrate the existence of intellectual networks that theorized, pushed for, and promoted these changes in different environments and institutions and that converged in the first editions of the Havana Biennial, underlining the need for a platform of horizontal dialogue such as the one in Cuba, to challenge and counteract the hegemonic narratives.

Another feature of the Havana Biennial are the research trips. Instead of waiting for artworks to be sent in by countries, which was the usual procedure at most biennials at the time, research in situ was carried out (when possible). As a result of these trips, curatorial networks and alliances were forged with other biennials that have begun to be defined in this article. Similarly, the research trips also provided first-hand knowledge of the local art scene and led to the training of specialists (by geographical area) among the curatorial team of the Wifredo Lam Center. This, added to the permanent character of the curatorial team, and together with a prolonged direction of the Center, has enabled the development of a solid and collective curatorial project throughout the first editions, avoiding the on and off effect characteristic of biennials.

Anita Orzes is a PhD candidate at the Universitat de Barcelona with a fellowship from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, linked to the research project Decentralized Modernities: Art, Politics and Counterculture in the Transatlantic Axis during the Cold War. She is also a member of the research project Ré.Part. Résistance(s) Partisane(s): culture visuelle, imaginaires collectifs et mémoire révolutionnaire of the Université Grenoble-Alpes. She graduated cum laude in Conservation of Cultural Heritage (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, 2010), and holds a MA in Contemporary Art History and Visual Culture (Complutense University of Madrid, Autonomous University of Madrid and Museo Nacional Reina Sofia, 2011). Her research focuses on the curatorial practices and the cultural networks at the Venice Biennale and the biennials in Latin America and the Caribbean. She has participated in national and international congresses. She has published, among others, "Padiglioni che denunciano, riflettono ed astraggono. Un’analisi critica e trasversale della partecipazione spagnola alla Biennale di Venezia (2003-2011)" (Storie dell'arte contemporanea. Atlante delle Biennali, no. 4, 2019); “XIII Bienal de La Habana: soyez réalistes, demandez l’impossible” (Exit-express, 2019); and "La Bienal de Venecia y sus ciudades" (Anales de Historia del Arte, vol. 24, 2014). She worked as a documentalist in the exhibition España. Vanguardia Artística y Realidad Social, 1936-1976 (Institut Valencià d’Art Modern – IVAM) and as a cultural mediator in Making Worlds (53rd Biennale di Venezia).


[1] This paper is the result of my FPI contract (PRE2018-085848) as well as the research project Decentralized Modernities: Art, Politics and Counterculture in the Transatlantic Axis during the Cold WarMoDe(s) (HAR2017-82755-P), funded by the Spanish Government.

[2] Nelson Herrera Ysla, Ojos con el arte (Havana: Letras Cubanas, 2004), 231.

[3] The first Havana Biennial was organized by the Ministry of Culture and only addressed Latin America and the Caribbean.

[4] Llilian Llanes was the director of the Wifredo Lam Center from 1985 to 1999.

[5] The Wifredo Lam Center has a permanent team of curators. Its members have changed throughout the editions, but many of them (Ibis Hernández, Nelson Herrera Ysla, José Manuel Noceda, Margarita Sánchez) continue to be part of the Center.

[6] The Tribuna Libre (Free Tribune) took place from November 6-10, 1989 in the National Museum of Fine Arts, after the theoretical meetings (November 2-5). It was an open space where people could freely participate in discussions, go back to a subject or concept that had emerged during the theoretical meeting, or in the case of the artists, share slides of their artworks with the public.

[7] Inter-American Biennial of Painting and Engraving (1958-1960), Mexico City (Mexico); Armando Reverón Biennial (1961-1965), Caracas (Venezuela); American Art Biennial (1962-1972), Cordoba (Argentina); American Engraving Biennial (1963-1970), Santiago de Chile (Chile); Coltejer Art Biennial (1968-1981), Medellín (Colombia); Latin American Engraving Biennial of San (1970-2001), San Juan (Puerto Rico); American Biennial of Graphic Arts (1971-1986), Cali (Colombia). Many of these biennials present hybrid characteristics with respect to those indicated.

[8] Mirko Lauer, “Notas sobre plástica, identidad y pobreza en el Tercer Mundo,” in Debate Abierto. Tradición y Contemporaneidad en la Plástica del Tercer Mundo (Havana: Centro Wifredo Lam, 1989), 21.

[9] Frederico Morais, “Tradición y Modernidad en la Plástica Brasileña,” in Debate Abierto. Tradición y Contemporaneidad en la Plástica del Tercer Mundo, 40.

[10] Ibid, 40.

[11] Frederico Morais, “Ideología de las bienales internacionales e imperialismo artístico,” Arte latinoamericano (etapa republicana). Selección de lecturas, ed. Elena Serrano Pardiñas (Havana: Editorial Pueblo y Educación, 1987), 238.

[12] Juan Acha participated in the theoretical meetings of the second and third Havana Biennial. His lecture can be read in Juan Acha, “Reafirmación caribeña y sus requerimientos estéticos y artísticos,” in Plástica del Caribe. Ponencias de la Conferencia Internacional. II Bienal de La Habana (Havana: Editorial Letras Cubanas, 1989), 7-28; and Juan Acha, “Tradición y contemporaneidad en el ambiente del Tercer Mundo,” Debate Abierto. Tradición y Contemporaneidad en el ambiente del Tercer Mundo (Havana: Centro Wifredo Lam, 1989), 3-19.

[13] Aracy Amaral was part of the jury at the first Havana Biennial. In the first edition, the jury had already set some guidelines to modify the system of the awards, since they did not consider it to be the most suitable for the Havana Biennial. In the second edition, the jury wrote a document suggesting its suppression. Wifredo Lam Archive. Folder 1986. II Bienal de La Habana.

[14] Juan Acha, “Las bienales en América Latina de hoy,” Re-vista del arte y la arquitectura en América Latina de hoy, vol. 2, no. 6 (1981): 14-16.

[15] I Bienal Latinoamericana de São Paulo (São Paulo: Fundación Bienal de São Paulo, 1978), 20-22.

[16] The symposium was organized around three sections: Mitos e Magia na Arte Latino-Americana, Problemas Gerais da Arte Latino-Americana, and Propostas para a II Bienal Latino-Americana de 1980.

[17] Aracy Amaral was going to be the curator of the second Latin American Biennial of São Paulo (1980). In 1981 (October 16-18), a meeting was held to discuss the continuity of the Latin American Biennial. Aracy Amaral, “Críticos de América Latina votan contra una Bienal de Arte Latinoamericano,” Re-vista del arte y la arquitectura en América Latina de hoy, vol. 2, n. 6 (1981): 36-41.

[18] Imelda Ramírez González, Debates críticos en los umbrales del arte contemporáneo. El arte de los años setenta y la fundación del Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín (Medellín: Fondo Editorial Universidad EAFIT, 2010), 36-41.

[19] The First Colloquium on Non-Objectual Art and Urban Art took place from May 17 to 21, 1981, the Meeting of the Association of Art Critics from May 16 to 17, 1981, and the fourth Medellín Biennial from May 15 to July 4, 1981.

[20] The fourth Medellín Biennial (1981) was an attempt to reactivate the Coltejer Arte Biennial whose editions took place in 1968, 1970, and 1972.

[21] Óscar Gómez, “Bienal de Medellín. Opiniones – entrevistas I,” Arte en Colombia 16 (October 1981): 50, quoted in Miguel A. López, Robar la historia. Contrarrelatos y prácticas artísticas de oposición (Santiago de Chile: Ediciones Metales Pesados, 2017), 104.

[22] “III Bienal de La Habana. La Bienal del Tercer Mundo. Entrevista a Pierre Restany,” in Bienal de La Habana. Palabras críticas: 1984-2010, ed. Israel Castellanos León (Havana: Consejo Nacional de las Artes Plásticas, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam, Artecubano ediciones, 2017), 149.

[23] Pierre Restany, “Brasília, bienal e Vanguardia, Correio da Manhã, September 25, 1965.

[24] Pierre Restany, “Huitième Biennale de São Paulo: comment va la cousine australe de Venise?,” Domus 432 (November 1965): 47-52.

[25] Caroline Saut Schroeder, X Bienal de São Paulo: sob os efeitos da contestação (PhD diss., Universidade de São Paulo, 2011), 89.

[26] The "Non à la Biennale" movement was part of the boycott of the tenth São Paulo Biennial after the promulgation of the AI-5 law (Ato Institucional n.5). On  June 16, 1969, a group of critics, historians, and artists met at the Modern Art Museum in Paris to sign the manifesto "Non à la Biennale," expressing their position against the repression, persecutions, and censorship suffered by the Brazilian people and renouncing their participation in the biennial. "Non à la Biennale de São Paulo," June 16, 1969. Typed manuscript. Julio Le Parc Archive, Paris. Registration ICAAA 774569.

[27] Pierre Restany, “Bienal de La Habana. Cuba, Cuba sí, No Cuba libre,” Cimaise 187 (March-April 1987): 2-4.

[28] Pierre Restany, “Consideraciones generales sobre el arte y el Tercer Mundo” in Debate Abierto. Tradición y Contemporaneidad en la Plástica del Tercer Mundo, 44-46.

[29] Llilian Llanes, Memorias. Bienales de La Habana 1984-1999 (Havana: ArteCubano Ediciones, 2012), 79-81.

[30] Ibid, 138. Through the research trips, the members of the curatorial team of the Wifredo Lam Center specialized in geographical areas.

[31] Interview with Nelson Herrera Ysla, Havana, Cuba, April 22, 2019.

[32] For a comparison of the two statements, see: Geeta Kapur “Tradición y contemporaneidad en las Bellas Artes del Tercer Mundo,” in Debate Abierto. Tradición y Contemporaneidad en la Plástica del Tercer Mundo, 3-13; and Llilian Llanes, “Presentación,” in Tercera Bienal de La Habana `89 (Havana: Editorial Letras Cubanas, 1989), 13-18.

[33] Geeta Kapur, “Partisan Views about the Human Figure” in Place for People (Bombay: Uma Offset, 1981), w/p.

[34]Anita Dube, Questions and Dialogue (Baroda, 1987), accessed April 23, 2020, https://archive.is/20140422155459/http://www.theotherspaces.com/journals/001/3/1/default.aspx#selection-561.1-782.0

[35] Margarita González Lorente and Carlos Garrido Castellano, “Horizontes compartidos. India en las bienales de La Habana,” Periférica. Revista para el análisis de la cultura y el territorio 12 (December 2011), 142-144.

[36] Llanes, Memorias. Bienales de La Habana 1984-1999, 82.

[37] Nora Grenari, “Biennale d’Art Bantu Contemporain: passeport ethnique et circulations artistiques en Afrique sub-sahélienne,” Artl@s Bulletin 5, no. 2 (2016): 74. The Biennial took place at irregular intervals of two, three, or four years: in Libreville (1985, 1989, 1998), in Kinshasa (1987), in Bata (1991), and in Brazzaville (1994 and 2002).

[38] Art Contemporain Bantu. Deuxième Biennale du CICIBA (Libreville: Centre International des Civilisation Bantu, 1989), 15.

[39] Ibid, 14.

[40] Llanes, Memorias. Bienales de La Habana 1984-1999, 134.

[41] Anthony Gardner and Charles Green, Biennials, Triennials and documenta, (New Jersey: Wiley Blackwell, 2016), 81-108. Anthony Gardner and Charles Green have begun to reconstruct the genealogy of the Southern biennials, identifying the second wave of biennials between 1950 and 1980.

[42] Some biennials existing before the Eighties (with indications of their foundational year and country) are: Tokyo Biennial (1952, Japan), Hispanic American Art Biennial (1951, Spain and Cuba), Alexandria Biennial (1955, Egypt), Paris Youth Biennial (1959, France), Saigon Biennial (1962, South Vietnam), India Triennial (1968, India), Arab Art Biennial (1974, Iraq and Morocco), Fukuoka Asia Art Show (1979, Japan), Rauma Biennial Balticum (1977, Finland), Baltic Triennial of Young Contemporary Art (1979, Russia), and Asian Art Biennial (1981, Bangladesh).

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Issue 46 / June 2020

Contemporary Art Biennales – Our Hegemonic Machines in Times of Emergency

by Ronald Kolb, Shwetal A. Patel, Dorothee Richter

by Daniel Knorr

by Roma Jam Session art Kollektiv

by Delia Popa

by Diana Dulgheru

by Daniel Knorr

by Farid Rakun

by Raqs Media Collective

by Defne Ayas and Natasha Ginwala

by Ekaterina Degot

by Yung Ma

by Eva González-Sancho Bodero and Per Gunnar Eeg-Tverbakk

by Raluca Voinea

by Răzvan Ion

by Daniel Knorr

by Lara van Meeteren and Bart Wissink

by Raqs Media Collective

by Robert E. D’Souza

By Manifesta 12 Creative Mediators: Bregtje van der Haak, Andrés Jaque, Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli, Mirjam Varadinis

WHW in conversation with Omar Kholeif

by Henk Slager

by Vasyl Cherepanyn

by Ksenija Orelj

by Catherine David

by Okwui Enwezor

by Sabeth Buchmann and Ilse Lafer

by Julia Bethwaite and Anni Kangas

by Federica Martini

by Vittoria Martini