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XLIXème AICA congress : New Utopias: Art, Memory and Context

aica congress

We are pleased to inform you that the XLIXth Congress of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) will take place in Havana, Cuba, between October 11-15, 2016. A post-Congress tour outside the Cuban capital will follow, October 16-17.

The Congress, organized by AICA International together with AICA Cuba, is the first in the history of AICA (established in 1950) to be held in Cuba. The Cuban section of AICA was created in the 1986 and reconstituted in 2014.

Congress’s main venues will include the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam, and the Casa de las Américas, all located in Havana. The opening ceremony will take place at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes on the evening of October 11, 2016.

On Thursday October 13, a one-day symposium on the theme “New Utopias: Art, Memory and Context” will be hosted by the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes with the participation of leading art critics and art historians from around the world. Other events will include panel discussions on the past, present and the future of the Havana Biennial and on the history of AICA chapters in the Caribbean, as well as visits to local artists’ studios, galleries, museums, and art schools. The full program will be posted on AICA’s website: by the end of May 2016.

President of AICA International, Marek Bartelik, describes the Congress as a historic event, not only for AICA but the international art community at large, more so because it will take place during the time when Cuba expands cultural and artistic exchange with the United States and other countries.

Carlos Acero Ruiz, Chair of AICA’s Congress Commission, emphasizes the importance of the Congress for other countries in Central America, and the Caribbean, including his native Dominican Republic. Rubén del Valle Lantarón, President of the National Council of Plastic Arts, underlines that the choice of Cuba as the host country comes in recognition of the accomplishment of Cuban artists, critics and other art professionals, and it also carries responsibilities. David Mateo, President of AICA Cuba, sees the Congress as a unique opportunity to strengthen direct contact and facilitate professional exchange between Cuban critics, curators and researchers and their counterparts in other parts of the world.

During the Congress, AICA will present two of its annual awards, for Distinguished Contribution to Art Criticism (for life-time achievement) and an Award to Young Critics.

The winners will be announced in September 2016.

The International Association of Art Critics (AICA) was officially established as an NGO affiliated with UNESCO in 1950. AICA’s membership is committed to the development of international co-operation in the visual arts, to the dissemination of ideas and to cultural development. AICA’s main objectives are to promote art criticism as a discipline and contribute to its methodology, to protect the ethical and professional interests of its membership and defend their rights, and to contribute to mutual understanding of visual aesthetics across cultural boundaries. Lately, the focus is to emphasize the global reach of the association, its cross-cultural ambitions and its interdisciplinary approach. At present there are present there are 63 member nations on five continents, plus an Open Section, representing more than 4,500 art critics.


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