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 a 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.