Yoan Capote & Liset Castillo
Two days before the official opening of the Havana Biennial, Yoan Capote was putting the finishing touches on Mente Abierta/Open Mind, his installation housed within the Morro fortress.
Capote shouted instructions and encouragement to half a dozen workers shoveling sand into a rectangular metal box which covered most of the floor. Inside this sand pit was a gleaming white labyrinth — a scale model of what Capote hopes to realize in a public park. When we returned to see the finished installation, the work was complete and Capote was in fine spirits.The sand was smooth, tiny trees had been added within and around the labyrinth, and human figures cast in bronze marched to and fro. One of these figures was seated in the pose of Rodin’s Thinker.
The piece has proved to be a popular addition to the Biennial landscape, and we join Capote in hoping it will end up as a full-scale addition to an urban landscape somewhere soon.
Liset Castillo is optimistic about the world financial crisis. She sees it as an opportunity for artists to forget about making money. "Artists are producing art that may have more artistic value than commercial", she says. For the Havana Biennial, Castillo produced Archaeology of Power, a global village in plastic. The power comes from Castillo’s use of color gradation. Starting from the black White House at the center, the color radiates outward to red and green skyscrapers. For what Castillo calls the "favela" on the outskirts, the color has drained away.