21th Paiz Art Biennal and beyond

Posted on August - 29 - 2018

Simón Vega “Apolo – Soyuz – Chapultepec”. Photo: Maria José Escobar

This year Guatemala, among other locations will be the host for the 21st edition of the Paiz Art Biennial. Beginning in 1978, the Paiz Art Biennial can be considered the second oldest in Latin America, celebrating without interruption since its inception. Diverging from its original structure, this year there is no theme behind this edition. As the curator states, the artists’ methodology and creative process that is directed through action rather than influenced by a fixed and assigned narrative.

Orchestrated by Fundacion Paiz, the Biennale will run under the artistic guidance of renowned Cuban academic Gerardo Mosquera as chief curator, supported by Guatemalan Maya Juracán and American Laura A.L. Wellen. This year the event proclaims to be more contextual and inclusive, rhizomatic and decentralized. The biennial aims to disperse itself through many venues across Guatemala, including the city centre locales as well as outside on the streets, and communitarian cultural centres that have blossomed in San Juan Comalapa and San Pedro La Laguna, and even the traditional grounds of Sumpango, where the enormous kites are flown every 1st of November.

Colectivo H.I.J.O.S. Photo: Maria José Escobar

The official venues include Casa Celeste (Guatemala City), Casa Ibargüen (Guatemala City), Casa de la Memoria “Kaji Tulam” (Guatemala City), Municipal Cultural Centre (Guatemala City), Cultural Centre Casa No’j (Quetzaltenango), Community of San Juan Comalapa (Chimaltenango), CFCE (Antigua Guatemala), C41 (Antigua Guatemala) among others.

As well, the Biennial seeks to engage with its neighboring countries and transcend the geographical borders of the region. Exhibitions thus have also permeated in countries such as Mexico, with the work of Naufus Ramírez Figueroa at the Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, and NG Gallery in Panamá with pieces from Sandra Monterroso.

Additionally, the event has an active educational agenda, curated by Esperanza de León, spanning from activities involving local schools with workshops and talks involving the international artists participating in the biennial.

Jorge de León. Photo: Maria José Escobar

With 35 national and international participants, which include artist hailing from Chine such as Xu Shen; Brazil such as Cildo Meireles; Uruguay, like artist Ricardo Lanzarini and Gervasio Sánchez from Spain. Remaining artists mostly hail from neighboring countries such as Mexico and El Salvador.

The main activities will take place from the 16th of August to the 16th of September 2018, and will extend until October, where it will culminate with the official openings of the public murals in San Pedro, titled “Héroes Anónimo. “

Be sure to follow the Biennial in this season and be on top of all its diverse and engaging cultural activities accompanying it.

By: Gabriela Martinez de la Hoz

Ricardo Lanzarini “Encendido: Arte Busca Mirada”. Photo: Maria José Escobar