Fábrica de Arte Cubano / Sometimes Art Space
2015 Havana, Biennial

Created and Directed by:
Marilyn Volkman & Dan Paz

Organizational Collaborators:
Solveig Font, Curator, Fábrica de Arte & Sometimes Art Space
Duniesky Martin, Faculty, Instituto Superior de Arte
Susana Pilar Delahante Matienzo, artist and organizer

Art Present: Mapping Space that Could Return to Earth Again is a symposium and exhibition series created by Marilyn Volkman and Dan Paz for the 12th Havana Biennial. Taking place at Fábrica de Arte Cubano (F.A.C.), an oil factory revamped into an arts center, the critical concerns of the project drew from the rich context of F.A.C.’s process-oriented programming, and examined how art production extends into other public domains.

Art Present brought together a unique set of proposals for structural change. The symposium showcased interdisciplinary art research, artist-run projects and site-specific curatorial concepts from Cuba, Canada, Spain, Qatar and The United States. Participants were selected based on a shared commitment to reorganizing the structures of their own communities and reframing the process of art hosting as a catalyst in the revitalization of urban architectures.

Day 1: Adaptive Architectures & Peripheral Space
Presentations by curators, administrators and artist-organizers who spearhead multi-use architectural initiatives at major academic institutions, support contemporary art activity in peripheral communities and/or host art exhibitions in their homes.

Day 2: Alternative Venues & Temporal Space
Participants explore ideas on how the architectural restructuring of the exhibition site extends into the organization of public and private domains. The big question is... How do intersections of art, architecture and critical discourse, plus the socialization that happens therein, change the way we engage with one another in shared space? How can we use this to think about the infrastructures we build for ourselves?

Day 3: Open Dialogue Workshop
Artists participate in a planning session at Fábrica--live and open to the public--to discuss ideas for a forthcoming exhibition series taking place in Havana during the Autumn of 2015 at the home gallery, Sometimes Art Space. With translators on hand, participants workshop art proposals and discuss ways of moving forward with the design of the exhibition. Members of the public are invited to pose questions and share information on the relevance of particular actions within the context of Havana. The day ends with a live performance by Chances Dances, a queer collective from Chicago.

Faye Gleisser, Gibran Villalobos and William Ruggiero, Regina Mamou, Christy Lemaster, Diane Derr, Law Alsobrook, Levi Hammett, Roell Schmidt, Marie Casimir, Amaury Pacheco, Dana Carter, Latham Zearfoss, Erica Mott, Casey Smallwood, Danny Volk, Jaxon Pallas, Joseph Miller, Erik Wenzel, David Cordero, Anthony Blackhood, Nuria Güell, Levi Enrique Orta Mendoza, Manuel Alejandro Hernández Cardona, Grethell Rasua, Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, Brookhart Jonquil, Susana Pilar DM, Aay Preston-Myint, Jacob Wren, Julio C. Llópiz, John Edward Cushnie, Cara Lewis, David Wolf, Steven Cottingham, Karly Mortimer, Lindsay Sorell, Kaylin Pearce, sophia bartholomew, Jeremy Pavka, Adam Waldron-Blain, Hannah Doerkson,Gretel Medina, Rigoberto Díaz Martinez, Carlos Martiel Delgado Sainz, Duniesky Martin, Marlon Portales Cusett, Yolanda Hernandez Santa Cruz, Rachel Herman, Alejandro Diaz-Perera, Francisco Masó, Adrian Curbelo, Dania Gonzalez Sanabria, Gabriela Reyna Lopez, Greta Reyna Lopez, Gabriela Garcia, Maria de Lourdes Mariño, Leandro Feal, Nestor Ramon Siré Mederos, Jacquelyn “Cqqchifruit” Carmen Guerrero, Chances Dances

The symposium could not have happened without the amazing curatorial support from Solveig Font and the wonderful creative team @ Fabrica de Arte Cubano. Also, the biggest love for Susana Pilar DM and Duniesky Martin, whose organizational efforts in Havana were the support that made it happen, whose friendship means the world to us. Oh and did we mention…. that along with a stellar presentation of their work in Chicago, Chances Dances punctuated the event with a dance party like NO OTHER. Screams of, “otro mas,” echoed from the crowd at 2:15am! While these photos can not nearly express the incredibly diverse experiences of this project, symposium and trip, they do show just a little bit of the mayhem. Thank you to everyone involved, all the artists and thinkers that could come, those participating remotely, and those joined us for the accompanying exhibitions some months later.

The Art Present exhibition series was hosted in the home of Solveig Font Martinez, Curator of Fábrica de Arte Cubano. Participating artists had the opportunity to revisit some of the main discursive concerns of the symposium, specifically in regard to the private home as exhibition site. The series was held over three nights in the fall of 2015 and featured the work of 25 artists from Cuba, The United States, Spain and Canada.

Aay Preston Myint, Levi Orta, Karly Mortimer, DIAZ LEWIS, Erik Wenzel, Adrian Curbelo, Regina Mamou, Jackie Carmen Guerrero, Susana Pilar Matienzo, Núria Güell, David Cordero, Rachel Herman, Mary Volkman, Dale Volkman, Lawrence Kirk, Brookhart Jonquil, Jeremy Pavka, sophia bartholomew, Yolanda Hernandez, Marlon Portales Cusett, Steven Cottingham

Gift Economies: Alternative methods of production and consumption, hosting and the complexity of the giver and the receiver.
Inversion: A situation wherein the origin or nationality of the artist imperceptible, or reversed.
Frontier: The possibility for artists to develop a "dream".