New York’s Bronx Museum of the Arts and Cuba’s Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana (MNBA) have announced a groundbreaking joint project, the most significant visual arts exchange between the countries in the last 50 years (see Cuba May Host First Show From an American Museum).
The initiative, entitled Wild Noise, will involve exhibitions at MNBA and the Bronx Museum, an artist exchange between U.S. artist Mary Mattingly and Cuban artist Humberto Diaz, educational and public programs, and a dual-language publication.
Holly Block, executive director of the Bronx Museum and expert in Cuban art, told the New York Times that the collaborative project was in the works well before the recent thaw in diplomatic relations between the two countries (see How Will the New U.S. – Cuba Ties Affect the Art World?).
The announcement that Cuba and the US would resume diplomatic relations after a 50-year freeze was received with guarded optimism throughout the world (see Is Cuba the Next Art-World Hot Spot?). However, soon after, the renowned artist and activist Tania Bruguera was arrested and accused of fostering “public disturbance,” after trying to re-enact her performance Tatlin’s Whisper #6 (2009). The work involves members of the public taking the stage in Havana’s Revolution Square and speaking freely for one minute (see Tania Bruguera’s Arrest Slows the US–Cuba Thaw and How Tania Bruguera’s Whisper Became the Performance Heard Round the World).
The launch of Wild Noise, which will coincide with that of the 12th Havana Biennial on May 22, will kick off with an exhibition of more than 100 works from the Bronx Museum’s permanent collection at MNBA. In spring 2016, 100 works from MNBA’s permanent collection will be presented at the Bronx Museum.
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