13th Havana Bienniale, 2019


CityX – Yo, Habana / 13th Havana Biennial 2019

In 2017, the Cuban Ministry of Culture invited Doris Graf to Havana to carry out ‘CityX – Yo, Habana’, the first part of the drawing activities, together with the people of Havana. As part of the activities, held at various locations across Cuba’s capital from 17/2/2017 to 28/2/2017, residents were asked to pictorially convey their personal ties to their city in the minimalist format of a drawing. Back home in Germany, artist Doris Graf spent the following months poring over the creative treasures she had collected. She analysed the images, categorised them, and translated them into pictogram-like motifs in a manner similar to the way they had been drawn by the people. The end result, i.e. the ‘CityX – Yo, Habana’ townscape in pictographic images, along with a selection of the drawings collected, is now being displayed at the invitation of the Cuban Ministry of Culture as part of the upcoming 13th Havana Biennial at the Casa de Cultura Comunitaria del Municipio, Plaza de la Revolución, from 12/4/2019 to 12/5/2019.

CityX – Que Ahora? (CityX – What now?) / 13th Havana Biennial 2019

The exhibition of drawings and pictographic images provides an overview of the work, showcasing how different/conflicting perspectives/opinions of the same urban space can be. As people generally see things the way they have learned to see them, this sort of presentation – the city seen through the eyes of many different people – teaches participants to broaden their own perceptions. What started out as an act of self-reflection becomes a dialogue in which participants discuss the pictures of the city, if necessary questioning and revising them; in other words, recreating them in keeping with the motto of the 13th Havana Biennial: ‘Construction of the Possible’. By asking ‘What now?’, the artist once again invites the people to draw their reactions to the exhibited townscape, thus following a similar method to ‘CityX – Yo, Habana’. From 26/4/2019 to 12/5/2019, all new images will be on display at the Casa de Cultura Comunitaria, together with the ‘CityX – Yo, Habana’ exhibition.


CityX – What now?


CityX – Yo, Habana, 2016/17