Medusa's Hope, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana, Havana (CU), 16 December - 2 April 2023

Artist Koen Vanmechelen will soon open a solo exhibition at the Cuban Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana. From 16th December 2022 to 2nd April 2023, the artist will present his take on the value of life with "Medusa's Hope".

The Cuban credo of Vanmechelen

Koen Vanmechelen returns to Cuba. After the considerable success of his exhibition Seduzione at the Uffizi (Florence) and his retrospective exhibition in Belgium, Koen Vanmechelen is now crossing the Atlantic with a new impressive exhibition. At the end of December, Vanmechelen will present about thirty installations and artworks spread over the two floors of the recently renovated Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana. They are the cornerstones of Vanmechelen’s philosophical-artistic perspective on human existence.

Connecting art and science

Curator of the show, Jorge Fernandez, presented Vanmechelen’s work previously in Cuba, during the 12th Biennale de la Habana in 2015. The artist showed an in situ installation connecting art and science and reintroduced the extinct Cubalaya chicken on the Caribbean island.

Fernandez; “Koen Vanmechelen is a unique artist who - like nature - follows his own path. Traditional labels can hardly define his art. His proliferation of diverse and disparate forms leads to a unique Gesamtkunstwerk. It is through the combination of his ethical and aesthetic vision that Vanmechelen manages to initiate reflections on issues that only much later gain urgency on the world stage.”

Vanmechelen is an artist, painter, performer, sculptor and eclectic figure whose interests range from anthropology to bioethics, from protecting human rights to biogenesis. His research focuses on the concepts of hybridization and contamination in a work that aims to discover an unprecedented synergy between nature and culture, science and art.

Healing place

Most artworks in the exhibition will be shown for the first time, such as Bang Bang, a work about the struggle with the COVID virus, and the New Generation series, panels covered with feathers, glass masks, and hybrid animals. At the center of the expo is the mesmerizing Medusa room with an 8m-long Titian’s Venus of Urbino-based wall portrait of Vanmechelen’s muse Chido Govera. “Medusa’s Hope transforms the museum into a healing place,” says Vanmechelen. “It opens in our turbulent world a crack to a different, more hopeful future.”

Exhibition facts

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana

Medusa’s Hope

Curatorship: Jorge Antonio Fernández Torres

16 december 2022 - 2 april 2023