Art and Necessity / Yoani Sanchez
Posted on May 28, 2015
The man approaches and pulls a fork from the work Delicatessen that is
being exhibited on the Havana Malecon during the XII Havana Biennial.
Nearby, two neighbors speculate that, at the end of the event, the sand
used in Resaca (Hangover) will be given to the surrounding residents to
repair their homes. To art appreciation are added hardships and daring,
incorporating the spectators into a show they want to make their own, by
taking it home and reusing it.
The arrival of the Biennial to our city is a good time to enjoy the
aesthetic surprises that await us around every corner, but it also
confirms the collision of art and need. Near the artworks employing
major material resources the inquisitive eyes of a guard are always
watching. The protected works, with their "Don't touch" signs or
surrounded by closed perimeters, abound on sidewalks and in parks, more
than they should. A contrast between the interaction sought by the
artists who place their works in public spaces, and the excessive
protection to which they are subjected, precisely so that this public
doesn't end up taking them away in their pockets, piece by piece.
The guard who prevents vandalism or looting also adds an ideological
curator who ensures that no installation, performance or show deviates
from the official script. A group of watchdogs of the artistically
correct impeded Tania Bruguera from entering the Museum of Fine Arts at
the end of last week. These censors of free creation also forced Gorki
Aguila into a car, after preventing him from hanging the face of the
graffiti artist El Sexto on the same walls where he had left us his
Need marks each work of art of the Havana Biennial. Material need, where
a screw used in some pedestal could end up in the door of a home, or in
a chair or even in the bed where four people sleep every night. And the
other need, that of freedom, makes us approach the art to take for
ourselves a piece of its rebellion, before the guard blows his whistle
and we leave, empty handed.
Source: Art and Necessity / Yoani Sanchez | Translating Cuba -