|MAC/SAN, a new kind of museum for the current century
2012.06.14 - 10:02:59 / email@example.com / Translated by: Pedro A. Fanego Sea
Havana, Cuba. – Havana Biennial has already closed most of its collateral projects. One of them was MAC/SAN, a Contemporary Art Museum, located in San Agustin neighborhood, in the outskirts of the city.
This idea is a creative venture of artists Eric Göngrich (Germany), Candelario (Cuba), Stefan Shankland (France-Switzerland-Great Britain), Catherine Sicot (Canada-France) and Aurélie Sampeur (France-Cuba-Germany). They joined efforts to give life to MAC/SAN, a project that approaches the public practice of arts and its local and international relevance.
We talked to Candelario, one of its architects, about the impact on San Agustin community of MAC/SAN. He explained that the project was an hybrid nature museum, without walls.
"We came up with MAC/SAN in this Biennial because there is no Museum of Contemporary Art in Cuba at the moment. It is a prototype to be continued in tune with the prevailing contemporary artistic practices in Cuba."
MAC/SAN was a project that sought to rebuild the traditional codes of western museums in the XX century, albeit suggesting a new approach. "This collective invention contributed to develop San Agustin’s cultural context. The mixture of local and international influences that coexisted in the project improved it."
Several artistic expressions converged in MAC/SAN. The attending public found sculptures, performances and multimedia that focused in main five topics: Arts, Territory, heritage, Urbanism and Environment.
Candelario himself gave the public a sort of TV station, that broadcasts shows contained in USB devices. Candelario thus introduced a MAC/SAN TV station that aired news, local weather reports, ads and a wide range of programs, like movies, documentary films and video clips.
The project was a participative platform, because many local salespersons were summoned to advertise their crops in MAC/SAN TV through a contest. The winning advertiser was rewarded with a wagon designed and made by LASA (San Agustin Artistic Lab).
Many students of journalism of Havana University joined to attend a contest-workshop that explored the frontiers between art and journalism, though experimental multimedia.
German Eric Göngrich, art historian Julieta Vigueras and architect Esther Suarez presented a sculptural piece titled BIOCUB, Food for Artists. The work involved the creators with San Agustin assistants, in the multiple production of 100 grams packages of dry mangos. They were all sold inside and outside the MAC/SAN premises.
BIOCUB tried a new drying technology, created by Göngrich, under the advisory of a Canadian NGO, called “Malnutrition Matters.” Its implementation required installing seven drying machines in the houses of the participant families.
Another piece of MSC/SAN exhibition was “San Cafe”, an original idea of three US creators, Lauren Elder, Oscar Melara and Kate Connell. With the help of five amateur chefs from San Agustin, they devised a cooking platform, where everyone displayed their own sense of gastronomy.
Alex Morales’ idea, “Den-OH/organo HU-rbano”, joined the project, inspired by Cuban hip-hop dancer Alexis Dreke’s personal story. He introduced four audiovisual presentations, based on reality, fantasy and the neighborhood's day-to-day life. The piece was a fusion of dance, theater, video, performance and music.
These are only some of the proposals presented by the artists that made up collective project MAC/SAN. This contemporary art museum, based in San Agustin, privileged artistic practices during Havana Art Biennial. MAC/SAN, a new kind of museum for the current century. By Sarahi Garcia