Sunday evening, April 14, the third edition of “Detrás del Muro” (Behind the Wall) opened on Havana’s famed seawall promenade, the Malecón.
Some of the works that we previewed earlier this year took shape exactly as planned, while others continued to undergo changes and adaptations.
“Transfusion,” the installation by Arles del Río, was one of the works that closely followed its original concept. The colorful, high-pressure water hoses were an immediate kid magnet, and one of the afternoon’s biggest crowd-pleasers.
Another crowd-pleaser was Alejandro Piñero’s installation on the Prado. It was still being installed as the exhibition opened, but that didn’t stop people from interacting with it immediately.
“Laboratorio,” a sculpture by Ariamna Contino and Alex Hernández, also attracted onlookers, including several who wanted to touch (and taste) the crystals of salt on its surface.
Cuban-born US artist Enrique Martínez Celaya presented his first project on the island. “The Sugar House” underwent substantial change since its original sketches, but the golden sleigh—a symbol of the unknown North—remained the core of the project.
In a brief interview during the opening, Martínez Celaya pointed out that the sleigh was assembled from odds and ends—an important part of the original vision—including a dreamlike selection of old toys and household objects.
Carlos Martiel’s performance work drew a respectful and interested audience.
The Roberto Diago sculpture, which we previewed on Facebook during its installation, was a striking presence on the Malecón.
We also previewed “Alud,” the sculpture by Lianet Martínez Pino, as it was being installed. Here it is in completed form, with the “Si/No” note by artist Eduardo Ponjuan prominently featured.
Ponjuan himself contributed a sculpture evoking a wall of boom boxes. The piece continues a theme he has been exploring in recent years, of outdated audio media, including cassette tapes and vinyl records.
As in past editions of “Detrás del Muro,” artists made interesting use of architecture. José Angel Vincench used the wall of a Malecón exit ramp for his homage to action painters: explosions of gold paint on a pristine white background.
Cuban-Norwegian artist Juan Andrés Milanés leaned a massive facade piece against the Detrás del Muro building on the Malecón. The title, hand-written on the label, is “Potemkin Village.”
With “Adentro” (Inside), Elio Jesús transformed the facade of a building on the Malecón.
The work consists of pieces of white paper rolled into cones and inserted into holes in the facade.
“Detrás del Muro” remains on view through May 12. Selected works will remain on view through the fall, as part of the celebration for the 500th anniversary of Havana.
For more about Bienal exhibitions and events, check the Cuban Art News Facebook page.