press release

Various locations
Guatemala, Cuba, Mexico

21 Bienal de Arte Paiz 2018 Mas Alla
16.08.2018 - 16.09.2018

Gerardo Mosquera, Chief Curator
Maya Juracan and Laura A. L. Wellen, Curators
Esperanza de Leon, Curator of Education

This edition of the Paiz Art Biennial—one of the world’s ancient biennials—will be organized under a radical concept. Contrary to the general use, it will not have a theme; or rather, its theme will be its own methodology. The Biennial will not build its purport by discussing a single issue, but through a model of action. It has been conceived as a contextual and inclusive biennial, rhyzomatic, decentralized in space and time, and more communicative with the public. The Biennial will thus consist of a constellation of different activities that will overflow Guatemala City and will take place throughout the country, and even beyond its borders, in collaboration with different artist-run spaces, institutions, events and other agents, going beyond the art world. The notion of "beyond" will be precisely the axis of action for the Biennial.

Art beyond
The event will focus on artists and projects of Guatemala and of its geographic region, although not exclusively. It summoned an open call to Guatemalan artists, from which several works and projects were selected and will be announced shortly. The Biennial will keep some of its usual exhibition spaces in downtown Guatemala City to present artworks and events that will go beyond circuits, traditions, poetics, and established schemes, or will address issues of transgressions, transfers and overflows. This approach will include the exhibition of posters of the H.I.J.O.S. social movement, which usually displays them on the walls of downtown Guatemala streets to denounce the forced disappearance of thousands of people during the armed conflict. Other examples are the exhibition Life, by war photographer Gervasio Sánchez; a video by artist Xu Zhen; a large installation of his Third World Spaceships by Simón Vega; an installation with drawings on the walls and interactive light artifacts by Ricardo Lanzarini, and the screening of Julio Hernández Cordón’s fiction films. Other works and documentation resulting from the Biennial’s urban and community projects will be shown.

Beyond the white cube
Following Guatemala’s strong tradition of socially oriented art in the public realm, the Biennial will have a broad presence outside auratic spaces. Among the artists who will undertake projects in this direction are Tania Bruguera, Alejandro Paz and Gervasio Sánchez in Guatemala City, Manuel Chavajay in San Pedro La Laguna (working with the community), Magdalena Atria in Rabinal, and Humberto Vélez, who will organize an event in Sumpango involving their typical giant kites and other local traditions. As part of the Biennial’s important community-oriented program, Jesús “Bubu” Negrón will work with young people of the Manuel Colom Agrieta settlement, where the population makes a living of recycling material from the adjacent landfill site. René Francisco Rodríguez will also work with people in vulnerable situations.

Beyond Guatemala
The Biennial will try to stimulate self-managed projects that have been organized by artists in different locations in Guatemala in conjunction with their communities. It will thus support collaborative communal joint ventures with Canal Cultural, in the San Pedro La Laguna area, and with Kamin in San Juan Comalapa. Professor and theoretician Alberto López Cuenca will visit Ciudad de la Imaginación, in Quetzaltenango, for a seminar, while artist Ricardo Lanzarini will give a workshop there. Performance artist Alexia Miranda will contribute a workshop with children in the Beluba Luba Furendei center in Livingston, on the Caribbean coast. In addition to these decentralizing efforts, a solo show by Diana de Solares will take place at the Spanish Cooperation Training Center in La Antigua. The Biennial will even expand beyond Guatemala’s borders, with a residence and an exhibition by Sandra Monterroso taking place at Los Carpinteros Studio in Havana, and other possible collaborations in Mexico City and Bogotá.

Education beyond
The Biennial will develop an autonomous education program, which will not be limited to pedagogically communicating the Biennial, but will generate its own activities within the event’s framework. All participating non-Guatemalan artists will offer public talks, among other programs.

Fundación Paiz para la Educación y la Cultura
11 Avenida 33-32 Zona 5, Guatemala City, Guatemala
T +502 2464 4545