Tuesday, October 13, 2009

CUBA Biennal 2009

The MAMAZ group, at the Bienal’s opening in Cuba.

Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wilfredo Lam,
27/03/2009 - 30/04/2009
La Habana Vieja, Cuba

10th Biannual Exhibit- Havanna
“Integration and Resistence in the Global Age”

In 2007, Ibil Hernandez Abascal, one the Bienal’s curators, visited Oaxaca and became familiar with the “Maize is Our Life” project. The project comprises various languages and arguments. It strives to educate the consumer, or simply raise awareness, about this crop, which in realty is our CULTURE and an essential part of our identity. Touched by these voices of protest, Ibil Hernandez decided to include the project en the subsequent “Bienal.”

Marietta Bernstorff curated the “Maize if Our Life” exhibit, which was transported to and exhibited in the Regional Fine Art and Design Center—an old, two-story building with plenty of personality. The exhibit reunited approximately 25 artists who contributed pieces in various media, including: photography, video, installation, shadow puppets, and posters. Marietta Bernstorff opened the show with an introduction to the project and a tamale feast, which quickly evolved into a “fiesta” with music, mezcal, and plenty of corn.

The show received favorable reviews and was visited by hundreds of people. Of all the participating projects, the “Maize is Our Life” exhibit was one that best represented the premise of the “Bienal.”
The exhibit converges but doesn’t fuse. It respects every kind of origin and context, unifying various voices in one shout that cannot be silence. It defends the clear victim of globalization. I am not referring solely to the crop as a food staple, but also as an identity—the identity of a people whose history stretches back millions of years.

Jessica Segall, 2009

The “Market Bag” project accompanied the “Maize is Our Life” exhibit. It included over 95 objects, developed by artists and craftsmen from Mexico and Cuba.
On March 20th, Marietta Bernstorff led a workshop entitled “A Meeting of Cultures,” in which 25 Cuban women participated. During the workshop, there was much discussion of the origin of maize, the difference between native seeds and genetically altered ones and the taste difference between natural foods and their rival. The objective was to “Return to the memory of our cultures.”
During the workshop, and after having covered the theoretical framework, the group was decided in two parts. Half worked with native corn and the other half with genetically altered corn. Using the results of this activity, a collage was made to be placed at the exhibit’s entrance as a symbol of our solidarity with the Cuban women.

LaPiztola, 2009

Emilia Sandoval, 2009

Mariana Gullco, 2009

Martha Toledo, 2009

Adriana Calatayud, 2009

Juane Quick to See Smith, 2009

Juane Quick to See Smith, 2009

Opening, Havanna 2009

Invited artists (Mexico, the United States, and Cuba), curated by Marietta Bernstorff:

Selma Guisande
Emilia Sandoval
Adriana Calatayud
Mariana Gullco
Gitte Daelin
Lorena Silva
Martha Toledo
Ana Santos
Sara Corenstein Woldenberg
Mari Olguín
Juane Quick to See Smith
Jessica Segall
Jacqueline Brito
Hilda María Rodríguez
Judy Baca

Video Group:

Luna Marán
Julia Barco
Nadia Massun
Marietta Bernstorff
Lucero González

Group Advertencia Lírika: Rap

Ixchel Alejandra López Jiménez
Marlene Cruz Ramírez

La Piztola (Stencil group from Oaxaca)

(Rosario Martínez Llaguno, Roberto Vega Jiménez, Yankel Balderas Pacheco)

Market Bag: 95 products made by women artists