Havana's Malecon now filled with art as part of "Behind the Wall" project

Posted: 27-May-15 13:44

Starting last Sunday 24th May, the Cuban capital's distinctive seaside promenade now exhibits a unique and eclectic collection of art installations that will be on show until. This is all part of the celebration XII Havana Biennial, which in this year's edition aims to transform this part of the city in an open-air gallery. Featuring exquisite and eye-catching works of arts from various artists around, the event also includes performances and an artificial ice rink - a first in the city!

Havana's Malecon now filled with art as part of "Behind the Wall" project

The twelfth edition of the Bienal de la Habana (Havana Biennial) officially kicked off last Sunday with the opening of a one-of-a-kind, never-before-seen art project exhibited along the long Malecon seawall. Going under the name of "Behind the Wall" the project honouring the XII Bienal de la Habana is already proving very popular among curious passers-by that stop to admire the impressive art pieces.

The most popular and scenic of promenades in the city is now beautifully dressed by a variety of art installations that include quirky pieces of contemporary art full of symbolism and evoking the Cuba of today, with its contradictions, its past, its present and the gradual changes the Caribbean island is currently going through.

The exquisite works of arts on display come from hundreds of artists from a total of 45 countries around the world, with each contributing to something unique, thought-provoking, evocative or interactive. In the case of the latter two interactive art projects are gathering the most attention – the artificially created beach and Havana’s first ever ice rink, albeit also artificial.

Below is a video showing how much interest the artificial beach on the Malecon is drawing among curious locals, tourists and visitors with cameras at the ready snapping away the tropical paradise creation.

One of the most visited, the stretch of artificial sand, complete with sun loungers and parasol, are a reminder that although the capital is fringed by the sea there are no real beaches in the heart of the capital.

According to organisers of the event, the purpose of the many displays on sight is to create “live and “organic” pieces of art that can talk to people and naturally fit in the environment they are placed in.

Famous Cuban artists such as Roberto Fabelo have contributed to the exhibitions, with a massive fork-laden pot called “Delicatessen” created by Fabelo himself and exhibited along the waterfront. But even of more colossal stature is another structure along the Malecon called “Occidente con Esteroides” (The West on Steroids) which Fabelo created in conjunction with acclaimed Cuban artists Alejandro Pinero and Jose Capaz. This trio of Cuban artists call themselves “Stainless” and was formed in 2010. Since then they’ve been working on this huge art piece that catches the attention of quite a few wandering eyes.

But it is the artificial ice rink the one that’s already drawing the most attention among locals, with queues of people (mostly children) lining up to take their turn. Created by U.S. artist, Duke Riley, the open-air installation facing the azure waters of the Malecon, includes 250 pairs of vintage skates and visitors can go for 20-minute ice skating sessions.

The Behind the Wall “live” art pieces will remain on display for a month, until 22nd June, the final date for seeing these marvels that come to life amidst the daily lives of the always enthusiastic habaneros.


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