Contributing blogger, Julianne Aguilar, UNM art student assistant
It’s finally here – the Bienal opening weekend! Last night was the inauguration party, and when I say party, I mean PARTY! The Bienal knows how to throw a good one. There was an awesome variety of music from Cuba and all over the world, and the biggest dance floor I’ve ever seen was full of revellers having a great time and busting a move despite of the sticky heat.
Entre, Dentro, Fuera (Between, Inside, Outside), where Projecting pARTicles is installed, was packed to the brim today as the official celebrations got underway. But, as this is Cuba, after all, a minor complication arose when we needed a ladder. However, the Bienal staff came through, as always, and a ladder materialized out of nowhere, and all was well. The afternoon started with a short talk by Agnes and us four students to a group from the University of New Mexico about the piece and what it was like to undertake such an endeavor in a country with such limitations. We all agreed that learning to stay on your toes and adapt to changes, delays and other challenges at the drop of a hat is key. Also, have awesome fabricators who can make magic happen no matter what the problem is! Heat and sun are no deterrent for the many Bienal-goers, and the city is full of people from all over the world here to experience this unique event.
Walking around we heard a dozen or more languages being spoken, which really gives you the feeling that Cuba is opening up to the world at last. We really get the idea that we’re here at a unique moment, and we are so grateful to be welcomed here to experience this amazing place. Tomorrow is the Tagtool projection performance with Markus and the local school kids, which is a great way to spend our last day in Cuba. Abbey, Markus and director Malu Tavares have done a great job documenting everything that has been happening, and you can look forward to their documentary about this experience. It’s been an exhausting week, but one that we’ll never, ever forget!