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Fundación Paiz para la Educación y la Cultura presents the XXIII Paiz Art Biennial, bebí palabras sumergidas en sueños (i drank words immersed in dreams)*. 

Colectivo Tz’aqaat – Cheen (Cortez) & Manuel Chavajay, Kawok, 2023, videoperformance, 3´10´´. Photo courtesy of Josue Samol.

From 13 to 30 July, 131 works will be exhibited by 30 artists and collectives from Guatemala and 12 other countries: Argentina, Guadeloupe (France), Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Spain, the United States, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Panama.

An Art Biennale that weaves a common future

The Arte Paiz Biennial is the most important contemporary art event in Central America. Founded in 1978, it has offered access free of charge to a range of exhibitions and art presentations. In this edition, the curatorial team, formed by Francine Birbragher-Rozencwaig and Juan Canela, was inspired by a fragment of the poem Nací mujer by the Guatemalan writer Maya Cú. It as from this that the biennial found its title: bebí palabras sumergidas en sueños (i drank words immersed in dreams)*. 

This edition of the Biennial stands out for its collaborative framework, in which the themes, ideas, participants and structure were part of a collective work process, together with a curatorial assembly formed by the curatorial team and participating artists: Minia Biabiany (Guadeloupe); Marilyn Boror Bor (Guatemala); Duen Neka’hen Sacchi (Argentina); and Juana Valdés (Cuba-USA).

It also highlights the work of five pioneering women artists who opened paths to become the inspiration, anchor, and point of departure for the Biennial: Margarita Azurdia, Ana Mendieta, Fina Miralles, María Thereza Negreiros, and Cecilia Vicuña. 

131 exhibited artworks, 30 artists and collectives, 12 countries, 5 venues

Guatemala City:
Venue: Centro Cultural de España (CCE)
Artists: Marilyn Boror Bor (Guatemala), Josué Castro (Guatemala), Fina Miralles (Spain), Eliazar Ortiz Roa (Dominican Republic), Itziar Okariz (Spain), Juana Valdés (Cuba-US), Martín Wannam (Guatemala-US)

Venue: Centro Cultural Municipal AAI
Artists: Carolina Alvarado (Mexico-Guatemala), Lourdes de la Riva (Guatemala), Yavheni de León (Guatemala), Verónica Navas González (Costa Rica), Duen Neka’hen Sacchi (Argentina), Risseth Yangüez Singh (Panamá)

Venue: Galería Portal 
Artists: La Nueva Cultura Material – Bryan Castro and Valeria Leiva (Guatemala); Sallisa Rosa (Brazil), Ix Shells (Panama)

Antigua Guatemala:
Venue: Centro de Formación de la Cooperación Española (CFCE)
Artists: Minia Biabiany (Guadalupe), Zoila Andrea Coc-Chang (Guatemala-US), Roberto Escobar Raguay (Guatemala), Adler Guerrier (Haití-US), Julieth Morales (Colombia), Collective Tz’aqaat – Cheen (Cortez) and Manuel Chavajay (Guatemala), Collective Tz´aqol – Victor Manuel Barillas y Marta Tuyuc (Guatemala) 

Venue: La Nueva Fábrica (LNF)
Artists: Margarita Azurdia (Guatemala), Minia Biabiany (Guadalupe), Marilyn Boror Bor (Guatemala), Laia Estruch (Spain), Collective Ixqcrear – Elena Caal Hub, Ixmukane Quib Caal and Ixmayab’ Quib Caal (Guatemala), Ana Mendieta (Cuba-US), Fina Miralles (Spain), Helen Mirra (US), María Thereza Negreiros (Brazil-Colombia), Duen Neka’hen Sacchi (Argentina), Juana Valdes (Cuba-US), Cecilia Vicuña (Chile)

The title of the XXIII Paiz Art Biennial comes from a fragment of a poem by Maya Cú, one of the most renowned Mayan poets in Guatemala, whose body of work represents the search for identity establishing a feminine genealogy and a legacy in resistance. Her verses accompany the construction of this project. 

Writing, orality, story, corporality, presence, movement, community, territoriality, landscape, nature, and community are some concepts that emerge from these relationships, articulating narratives that challenge hegemonic stories and imagining futures that delve into the possibilities of lives in common. 

Since 30 March, the Biennial has been accompanied by the “Shared Knowledge” educational program,  curated by Esperanza de León. It unfolds in a plan of mediation resources designed to introduce the Biennial in gradual steps that aim to bring its themes closer to the public. With this in mind, a Whatsapp number has been activated, in which it is possible to receive excerpts, audios, and exclusive information on the exhibited works: https://wa.link/ggc7fs

Sonia Hurtarte, executive director of Fundación Paiz, notes: “At Fundación Paiz we create spaces that promote art, education and culture for the development and transformation of Guatemala. We foster a space where people can express themselves and connect through art and culture. With the Paiz Art Biennial we seek to commemorate and give visibility to Guatemalan artists. We are convinced that art and education are generators of personal and social change”. 

For more information, please visit the XXIII Paiz Art Biennial.

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