Spelman college selected to currate at the Havana Biennial in Cuba

Spelman College is selected to participate in the Havana Biennial this summer in Cuba, being the first United States curatorial team to participate in the biennial.

Yesterday, the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art announced via a press release that it has been selected to present the exhibition Cinema Remixed & Reloaded: Black Women Artists and the Moving Image Since 1970 at the 11th Havana Biennial this summer in Cuba. This exhibition was awarded Best Art Exhibit in a Museum in 2008 by Creative Loafing.

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  • Image Courtesy of the Artist and Micael Stevenson Fine Art, Cape Town
  • Berni Searle lives and works in Capetown, South Africa and will have work featured at the Havana Biennial



Havana Biennial director, Jorge Fernandez said in the press release, “This exhibition will mark the first presentation of a curatorial team from the United States included as a participant in the main program of the Biennial.”

The Biennial will also be the first time that Spelman College Museum of Fine Art has been invited to create projects for an international biennial exhibition. According to the curatorial team, The Havana Biennial exhibition theme is focusing on the “assessment of the behavior of the relationship between visual productions and social imaginary.”

The Havana Biennial is one of the longest running biennials with a concentration on art from Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. According to the release, this year’s goal is to ‘bring art to all.’ With plans to install projects around the city in public spaces like parks, city squares, and local art organizations.

The Director of Spelman College Museum of FIne Art, Andrea Brownlee, is also very excited about the implications the biennial will have for Spelman. “We value this unprecedented opportunity to participate in the rich cultural dialogue that the 11th Havana Biennial affords,” Brownlee says in the release. Brownlee was also the the co-curator of the original Cinema Remix & Reloaded exhibition in 2007.

While the original exhibition featured 48 works by 44 artists, because of limited space, the revamped show will feature 8 works from 8 different artists at various points in their own careers. The artists included are Maren Hassinger, the collaborative artist team Bradley McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry, Tracey Rose, Berni Searle, Lorna Simpson, Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, Kara Walker, and Carrie Mae Weems.

Cinema Remix & Reloaded 2.0 is also being curated with the help of Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston’s senior curator, Valeria Cassel Oliver (who co-curated the original 2007 exhibition as well).

In the release, Cassel Oliver explains the show is “based in part on the belief that social imaginaries and art practices are often strengthened by a collective and communal drive to expand the understanding and acceptance of the totality of our histories and their imprint in the social, political and cultural landscape. This project proposes that black women video artists are highly attuned to the broad concept of social imaginaries and for this reason often create works that are steeped in collective histories and social critique.”

For more information on this project and the museums involved, visit the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston here and the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art here.