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ArtTable TOURS | Cuba 2012

CUBA | 11th Havana Biennale
May 11-16, 2012

ArtTable members traveled to Havana, the capital of the Cuba and its commercial and cultural center since colonial times. Members experienced the charm of a city that has remained largely unchanged for over 50 years, and got to know Cuba's rich and varied cultural heritage through artist studio visits, participation in the opening of the Havana Biennale, and meeting and learning about the Cuban people and their daily life. The 11th Biennale explored the dissimilar meaning of what is public, including interventions in urban spaces, interactive, playful and multidisciplinary projects, the processes of social insertion and work in the communities, as well as the media that have gradually expanded the levels of access to technology and to the present forms of communication. 

Havana was the centerpiece of the trip, the center for art, music, dance, and film. Since the revolution, there has been an aggressive program of cultural reforms that has promoted artistic talent on the island. The result is a highly respected collection of art, music, and dance institutions and academies that have gained international acclaim. Even in the face of economic difficulties, Cuba continues to place a high value on artistic creativity and maintains its cultural integrity.
During our stay, we were hosted by a variety of local scholars and artists who offered in-depth commentary on art, history, architecture and religion. We met many leading artists in their studios, including Carlos Otero Blanco, Enrique Rottenberg, Liudmila & Nelson, Ibrahim Miranda, Kadir Lopez, Sandra Ramos, Jose Fuster, and more; visited the homes of collectors and curators such as Milagros Borges and Pamela Ruiz; participated in Havana Biennale events and programs and visited its many venues; were led on architectural and historical tours of the city; visited institutions such as the Museum of Cuban Art, the Instituto Superior de Arte and the Ludwig Foundation; ate at the best restaurants in town; attended private dance and music performances; and enjoyed the company of students, professors, and historians. Throughout our tour we enjoyed the type of intimate personal exchanges that build lifelong relationships. This trip not only brought us together with the people of Cuba, but enabled us to develop professional networks, friendships and a new understanding of the rich and varied cultural fabric of this unique island nation.

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