In 2003, I dreamed of creating a platform for the Havana Biennale. Mind you, I was still an art student at that time, and my state of mind then was that in art, anything goes. Build it (or do it) and they will come. I mean, after Duchamp, art seemingly could be anything. Period.
I had this novel revealation, at least to me, that Havana would be the perfect place to begin a series of projects that would link a matrix of artists of Cuban and Vietnamese heritage. Why so specific? Well, communism and extremism for two. In the US, the whole Elián González issue was fresh in my mind. The uproar over this happening on the east coast reminded me of some of same extreme tactics of the Vietnamese American community on the west coast. Both communities were fervently anti-communist and probably remain so now. I was also then planning my relocation to Ho Chi Minh City - as fast as I could graduate.
The idea was to create exchanges between four groups of artists: Cuban, Vietnamese, Cuban-Americans and Vietnamese-Americans, crossed and patched in every direction to the others. And this whole thing would in some form find its way to Havana for the Biennale.
Now five years later, while Cuba has recently opened up to the mobile phone market and Vietnam is practically defined by it, meaning markets and mobile phones - the project has faded from both desire and memory. I don't even know why I thought about it this evening. It's kind of sad but in the same sense a big relief. I don't want to be pigeon holed by either Vietnamese, American or even Cuban politics. I already have some other ideas for projects anyhow.
Posted by on September 16, 2008 10:51 PM | Permalink