August 11, 2000


Local Artists Selected to Participate in Havana Bienale 2000

The San Diego/Tijuana artists collaborative RevArte (Luz Camacho-Espinoza, Jim Bliesner, Jim Hammond, Ana María Herrera and Irma Sofia Poeter) has been invited to represent the United States and the region at the internationally recognized Havana Bienale 2000. The Bienale will showcase artists selected from over 80 countries. The artists were selected from extensive review of their previous work, the quality of that work and their proposed installation during the upcoming Bienale event.

The Havana Bienale has occurred every two years since 1984 and has established itself as a significant event alongside the Venice Bienale, the Cairo Bienale and the Sao Paolo Bienale. In previous years the event focussed on artists of the third world and the invitation of RevArte from the border region and the US represents a dramatic, new, inclusive departure from previous years. According to Hugh Davies, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art/San Diego, "I commend RevArte on being selected to participate in the Havana event. It is a significant Bienale and to have the United States and Mexico represented by RevArte speaks well for your group and brings honor to the art being generated in this region."

The theme of the event is "communication" and RevArte has proposed building a sculptural piece which responds to that theme. The work will be installed in a public site, in a barrio nearby the Wilfredo Lam Institute. RevArte has proposed to incorporate public dialogue and the assembly of sculptural elements from local residents, into their piece. Additionally, they have proposed that they will construct their work using stone debris from decaying Spanish Colonial structures, which dominate the urban architectural landscape of old Havana. The installation of the work in a public space, involving local residents is a serious departure from previous exhibition venues.

Unlike other international Bienale events the artists invited to participate do not receive funding to travel and complete their work. In many cases artists representing the United States are granted funds from the State Department to participate in international invitational events. However, such funding has not been forthcoming for the Havana event.

Instead the artists of Rev-Arte will hold a preview of the work they propose for the Bienale at an opening at the Spruce Street Forum at 301 Spruce Street in Hillcrest on Friday, August 11th, beginning at 5:00 P.M. Representations of the work and the concept will be produced and will be available for purchase at the opening. The artists will hold an informal dialogue with interested San Diego residents on Tuesday, August 15th at 7:00 P.M. at the gallery. The dialogue and the opening will be recorded and become part of the installation presentation in Havana.

The public is invited to attend the exhibit and participate.

RevArte is a bi-national (U.S./Mexico) artists collaborative joined by a commitment to experimentation in style, concept, venue and media. The group has worked together since 1995 on a variety of projects in the United States and Mexico, primarily in Baja Ca. and San Diego.

Early work has focused on the group exploration of various concepts such as "Time" or "Borders." Individual interpretation of these concepts were presented at the Cultural Center in Tijuana and the Intersection Gallery in San Diego. RevArte artists have completed installations in Mexico City as well. Other work has been presented at the Tijuana Race Track, rural fields, an Ensenada Winery, and some film work along the U.S./Mexico border.

RevArte was selected to participate in InSite 97 and was commissioned by the U.S./Mexico Fund for Culture (Rockefeller Foundation). Their work was focused in the Popotla Village adjacent to the Twentieth Century Fox studios. The project was the installation of a three dimensional, found object mural along a one kilometer wall built by the studio. The work projects styles reminiscent of early Raushenberg and Tapies. A key element of the project was the involvement of the fishermen and the families of the village. It received an award of recognition from the ArsSelectronica Foundation of Lynz, Austria.

RevArte is in the process of completing a public art installation in the community of San Ysidro funded by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture. The project is focused on Fellsway Street, a one block long, small street. The work is distributed throughout the area and includes three dimensional sculptures on the theme of "Mi Casa, Mi Pueblo" which takes its' derivation from Aztec imagery of flower and song. In addition to the art installation the total project design involves the painting and repair of homes on the street, the construction of new housing, installation of new shrubbery and fences and the recementing of the complete street. Objects of art include a chime tower, tiled benches, a sculptural fence, welded metal pots and three dimensional designs of cement in the thoroughfare.

RevArte is also in the process of developing a series of public art installation in the Tijuana Colonia of La Presa. This project is being done in conjunction with the Planning Department of Tijuana and proposes to explore the concept of "art as a creator of place." RevArte will select, in partnership with the community and the Planning Department a series of vacant spaces in the squatter barrio and through the installation of functional work will create useable park space. In addition the project proposes to utilize the assistance of architectural students from Woodbury Architectural School of San Diego. Funding is being sought from the U.S. Mexico Fund for Culture (by invitation) and some funding has been received from the Foundation for Social Change in San Diego. Further funding has been promised from the California Council for Humanities. The project proposes to impact public policy in the city of Tijuana through visual and conceptual presentations to the City Council of that city.

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