On the occasion of the 2019 Havana Biennial, Enrique Martínez Celaya presents a new sculpture, titled El trineo (2019). The work is part of the Detrás del Muro (Behind the Wall) project, an open-air exhibition that began with the 11th Havana Biennial in 2012.
El trineo (‘The sleigh’) is made from metal scraps of old toys and found objects, refurbished into a monumental gold sculpture. The work recalls a toy sleigh Martínez Celaya was given as a child, and what that gift came to signify. Growing up in Cuba, a country without snowfall, the sleigh was an alien object and became a symbol of the mythical ‘North’, representing the family’s dream of leading a more prosperous life elsewhere. When the artist moved to Madrid in 1972, the sleigh was gifted to a family friend. It thus became an emblem of hope and dissatisfaction with the present situation, passed from one family to another.
The 13th Havana Biennial is on view from 12 April to 12 May 2019.