By Brenda L. Miller
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Extra resources for Art Fantastix 16. The Art of Max Bertolini
Another, the Havana Biennial, serves to give the Cuban government a more lenient and culturally open-minded image by sanctioning dissent within this narrow and delimited frame. The biennale has two further benefits that mark it out from a fair of new technology or an important football match. Firstly, despite all the academic nay-saying from critics and theorists, in the public and civic eye art retains a kudos that transcends ordinary culture and entertainment, and gestures towards the universal.
Biennales tend to address the cosmopolitan art audience rather than the local population. Their structure was inherited from the model of the international art or trade show in which nations compete to push their most prominent cultural wares in the global market. While many biennales have moved away from the physical embodiment of this competition in national pavilions, the atmosphere of national rivalry sometimes remains. Furthermore, the curators of these shows, nomadic specialists, are creatures of the global art system.
We have seen that art sets itself off from mass culture by its handling of content. Aside from that, what the reproducible media cannot yet simulate is the feeling of a body moving through a particular space surrounded by huge video projections or work that has weight, fragrance, vibration, or temperature. So installation, which allows a space to be inhabited rather than merely presenting a work of art to be looked at, comes to the fore. In this battle over spectacular display, artists and museums have avidly seized on new technology, especially digital video and video projection.
Art Fantastix 16. The Art of Max Bertolini by Brenda L. Miller