By Federico Curutchet
Simple and close is the domestic universe presented by Santiago Villanueva in his solo project with the Isla Floating gallery in the U-Turn section. Following Gumier Maier, who is considered Argentina’s first curator, the artist, researcher, and curator travelled two weeks to the River Plate Delta to rediscover the domestic curatorial model and recover the peculiarities of the famous and never well-weighed typology of he house museum. “The museum house – the artist says – mixes the personal and the general, the historical and the banal, the objectual and the experiential, the lie and the verifiable facts. What can we learn from it? How to observe it?”. With this bunch of questions, they disconcert the seemingly unconnected objects distributed in the booth: some spirals, two sticks, some pineapples, and three chairs. Soon after, interpretation finds its way: there are no insignificant objects; every object has a story to tell.
Romina Casile, in the space of the Acéfala gallery in the Barrio Joven of the fair, also shares a story through a domestic universe in her Vocal Trap (USD 21.000).Or rather, it is the tables and cabinets speaking loudly, in a closed circuit of zinc megaphones and labyrinthine pipes. Transposed furniture, mutated and monstrous, seizing the space and surprising all visitors for its inhumanity this seems to challenges us all with a voice.
Buenos Aires is positioned as one of the most important capitals of the visual arts of the Latin American region. This May, together with the inauguration of the 27th edition of arteBA – the capital’s contemporary art fair – the most important galleries and art centres are showing their most valued exhibitions of the year
Barro Gallery: Joaquín BozWHERE: Barro Arte Contemporáneo_ Caboto 531_ La boca, Buenos Aires. Galería Barro presents itself as one of the most important spaces of the Federal Capital, with an active participation in the art fairs of the region and high-level artists, offering a view of the new Argentine way of painting. The young Joaquín Boz, born in 1987, exhibits large-format pictorial works in these rooms: we can talk about a reinsertion of abstract painting. A work composed trough the chance of the materiality with a palette perfectly built and an imaginary related to gesture and body action, is the proposal that lead the name of Notes on the days. The text, written by Veronica Flom, cites an interesting concern that science has not yet been able to solve: shyness among the trees: “Certain species approach their branches and their cups but they never touch”. Boz’s work starts from here, further extending to the relationship between the balance of freedom and the sharpness of the stain as one of the subtle visual investigations developed into the room.
OSDE Foundation: Enrique Ježik, In Self DefenseWHERE: Av. Leandro N. Alem 1067_ floor 9_ Buenos Aires_ Argentina. OSDE Foundation, created in 1991, is presented as a space to stimulate culture and medicine. An interesting sample of art related to both themes is the work of Enrique Ježik, an artist belonging to Grupo de la X, an Argentine group active between 1986 and 1987. Mexico-based, he came back to Argentina to feature In Self Defense, whose title dates back to a 1996 artwork, in which human bones are presented in a glass box protected by a fence. This time, he Ježik is presenting a series of works created between 2001 and 2018. An extensive trajectory exploring the body of the sculptor from his beginnings in art, and the artist’s own body. Presenting himself as an “interpreter” he is involved – as artist, subject and director – in all the actions retained in the videos and installations. Twelve works make up the exhibition, facing many different themes such as violence, the dispute between territories of power, domination, violence, resistance and destruction.
Espacio Munar: The rhythm and the line/ Dying in the attemptWHERE: Av. Don Pedro de Mendoza 1555_Buenos Aires_ Argentina. Munar was opened for the first time in the 90 as a space for the development of local design, but after the crisis years it had to close. Today it’s re-opening with another perspective: the search for art, with a focus on the professionalism of both craftmanship and materiality. We suggest you a couple of interesting exhibitions, both supported by two important galleries of Buenos Aires. The first The rhythm and the line of Juan Sebastián Bruno and Donjo León and represented by the gallery Pasto, is exhibited in the room El pescadito. Taking as a main focus the famous quest about “who came first? – the rhythm or the line? ” we are faced with a large space with two interconnected works: the first one, Cross, by Sebastián Bruno is an allusion to the simple, to the potential energy of the initial composition, nevertheless still complex in its form and concept. The other artwork is by Donjo León, a sculptural and sonorous device, a machine aiming at manifesting the “barely visible”, as part described by Bárbara Golubicki and Alfredo Aracil in the curatorial text.
Espacio Munar: The rhythm and the line/ Dying in the attemptWHERE: Av. Don Pedro de Mendoza 1555_Buenos Aires_ Argentina. In another space, we can find a completely independent exhibition, Dying in the attempt: a five-artist group show proposed by the important gallery of Ruth Benzacar; – Flavia Da Rin, Marina de Caro, Carlos Huffmann, Eduardo Basualdo, Adrián Villar Rojas. The exhibition area is a canteen. This disturbing display reflects Argentine conceptualism and the empowerment of space and materiality; these five artists explore the imaginary of “dying in the attempt”. A subliminal and poetic text written by Carlos Herrera guides the exhibition describing a melancholic afternoon, where the death of some dahlias is the starting point for a meditation about life’s simplicity; and man’s desire for an eternal, timeless existence. An undeniable transversality occurs between the exhibited works and the curatorial text, encouragin us to look far beyond.
Galería Nora Fisch: Doble de cuerpoWHERE: Avenida Córdoba 5222_ Buenos Aires_ Argentina. Nora Fisch gallery, in the heart of the city center, is presenting the controversial and aesthetic photography exhibition of Alberto Goldenstein (1951) and Raúl Flores (1965), two Argentine photographers. Photography arises in the human eye as well as the immortality of light and instant. Throughout the social evolution we faced all changes related to the role of this discipline and we increased the number and variety of intertexts to show in a photographic action. Double body just insinuates a new role: who is the subject photographed? What is his reality? Who he really is? Where does he live and how? The atmosphere of each image – as many of Goldenstein’s works – disturb the viewer; his sharp compositions intimidates the reflection. The irony created by the colour palette is the starting point of an interesting reflection on the individual and his image.
Within the framework of the contemporary art fair of Buenos Aires Argentina, arteBA 2018, we have experienced the five best restaurants of the federal capitalArt is a pleasure that can be accompanied with the intensity of local flavors complementing the cultural proposal of each country.
EL BAQUEANOGEOREFERENCE: Chile No. 499 esq. Bolívar_ San Telmo_ Buenos Aires_ Argentina. Forging its meaning in the temple, the observation of time and the environment El Baqueano offers us a cuisine of Argentine origin, the experience of tasting products grown in different Eco regions of the country and developed under the protection of each season, does not cease to amaze us. The path of the observer develops on each plate. A space interrelated to the kitchen area is the necessary warmth to be able to enjoy directly the process of each preparation: unmissable are its llama meat and its preparations with quinoa. We can not leave aside their bar, that they call the space of the most spirited drinks in the world, next to a double-height cellar of 1200 bottles.
GREAT DABBANGGEOREFERENCE: Av. Scalabrini Ortiz 1543, 1414_ Buenos Aires_ Argentina. Noted for its fusion food – Asia and India, the sensation of a magical curry in the mouth invading the senses of exotic flavors is unforgettable. Colorful and unpretentious, this place puts your attention on each plate served on the table. An excellent service and reasonable prices are one of its attractions. Each ingredient, selected on the present season, composes the dishes of a short, but assertive menu. The combination of chickens, mozzarella and aubergines among other ingredients stand out in their proposal, although I cannot forget the carrot chutney and the exceptional raita. Mariano, the Chef, every now and then comes out of the kitchen to say hello.
CHILAGEOREFERENCE: Alicia Moreau de Justo 1160_ Puerto Madero_ Buenos Aires_ Argentina. They define their pillars as three: cuisine in its highest expression, quality and seasonality. Of my favorites, not only for its flavors, ingredients and dedication in the service but also for the originality and aesthetics in its presentation. The respect for the product of small merchants and in their organic times is reflected in each composition of their dishes. An elegant environment that looks directly towards puerto Madero creates the perfect atmosphere to enjoy each work of art reaching the table. Acoustic, few places have it so well resolved and a first class service. Highly recommended is the Menu of Times with pairing; the cava is composed of high-level wines, highlighting their Malbec and Pinot Noir. Impossible to forget the Tomato / Molleja / Yogurt Snack from Chimichurri from the menu, chapter XV.
PROPERGEOREFERENCE: Aráoz 1676, Palermo _ Buenos Aires_ Argentina. Housed in an old mechanical workshop, Augusto Mayer and Leo Lanussol’s restaurant retains its original aesthetic. With an integrated kitchen in sight, all focus is placed on the wood-fired oven being the meeting point for all its dishes. A space dedicated to national producers, following the rigor of all the restaurants exposed in this note; each ingredient is from the corresponding station that is why, with a young spirit it is one of my favorites, because of its varied and sophisticated menu. The plate of roasted eggplant, stracciatella, apricots and caper leaves was one of my favorites, the taste of the eggplant next to the caper leaves was delicious, a complete novelty for me. The rustic left of the wood on the ingredients is an experience that exceeds the capital and transports us to the origin of each food, with its cooking time to perfection. In this particular place the chosen dessert was like being in the glory, Roasted figs, fig tapenade and Camembert goat cheese, a logical mixture but achieved with total originality.
ARAMBURUGEOREFERENCE: Salta 1050 _ CABA_ Buenos Aires_ Argentina. A menu of 18 times with pairing can sound a lot, usually they are fewer, but I decided to take a risk. Dishes of a singular aesthetic and a deeply informed sommelier are the result of this pleasant experience. Aramburo is another of the places where I have been able to enjoy time as part of the meal, with an excellent service while tasting Argentinian products of healthy origin. The times with different meats and vegetables were the high note of this unforgettable experience.
General Manager of arteBA Foundation, Julia Converti speaks about the Argentinian art market and contemporary cultural scene under the new government; the arrival of Art Basel Cities program: the expectations for the next 27th edition of the arteBA 2018 art Fair in Buenos AiresAt the threshold of the opening of the 27th edition of arteBA art fair in Buenos Aires, which will take place from May 24-27th in the La Rural Pavilions, we talked with Julia Converti, general manager of the arteBA Foundation. LL: What is arteBA Foundation evaluation of the art market in Argentina today, after years of restless work? What are its goals in the medium term?
JC: In 2017 Argentina gained key visibility in the international art map: becoming an “invited country” at ARCO Madrid 2017; The Parthenon of books of Marta Minujín was one of the iconic pieces of the last Documenta in Kassel; the Pacific Standard Time LA/LA in Southern California (Getty Foundation); Inés Katzenstein was named by the Museum of Modern Art of New York (MoMA) first director of the Research Institute Patricia Phelps de Cisneros for the Study of Art of Latin America; Ana Longoni was appointed Director of Public Programs at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid. And of course: Art Basel cities Buenos Aires. In this context we are undoubtedly ready to inaugurate our 27th edition of the Fair, leveraging on 2017 great results. Balance? Very positive. Goals and challenges for the coming years? Encouragingly great. 27 years of passionate work and activism in the art field can only find their motivation and resolution into an absolute faith in what we have to offer: a very powerful and identified art scene continuously striving to gain its own reputation and willingly to engage in an international, enriching dialogue with the rest of the world. LL: What is the range of prices currently traded at the fair and what the sales percentage?
JC: Value can swing between amounts higher than USD 100,000 and a minimum of approximately USD 500 available in Barrio Joven section, bringing together galleries and emerging projects from Argentina and Latin America. Historically, we are the only Fair giving place to younger spaces to help them find some visibility allow new ways of collecting. This year we are launching STAGE, with the aim of enhancing young galleries’ proposals in the Main Section: as Barrio Joven it will attract new buyers and collectors. In recent years, sales have been really strong. Museums, active collectors, new buyers, emerging art, contemporary consecrated artists and modern art: the fair combines a wide range of proposals, for different tastes and interests. We bet this edition will be very important thanks to the high quality of offer and, of course, to the enthusiasm of the demand. LL: Can you recommend the 10 artists that should not be missed when visiting the 27th edition of arteBA?
JC: I think it is going to be a successful year since all curators have selected special projects mapping current trends. This will surely awake the audiences! It is difficult to pick only 10, but here we go! 1. Sandra Gamarra (Peru): 80 m2 Livia Benavides (Lima) 2. Eduardo Navarro (Argentina): Nara Roesler (San Paolo/New York) 3. Gala Porras Kim (Colombia/USA): Commonwelth and Council (Los Angeles) 4. Jimena Croceri (Argentina); Zmud (Buenos Aires) 5. Patricia Esquivias (Venezuela/Spain): Estrany de la Mota (Barcelona/New York) 6. Nicolás Paris (Colombia): Elba Benitez (Madrid) 7. Diego Bianchi (Argentina): Jocelyn Wolff (Paris) 8. Elisabeth Wild (Austria): Proyectos Ultravioleta (Guatemala) 9. Liliana Maresca (Argentina): Rolf y Vasari (Buenos Aires) 10. Ivana Vollaro (Argentina): Galería Hache (Buenos Aires) 11. Luciana Lamothe (Argentina): Ruth Benzacar (Buenos Aires) LL: For the first time this year arteBA is launching Zoom, a curated program of art installations that will join the exhibition circuit. What kind of artworks are involved? Are they iconic, large-scale works? Will they be on sale?
JC: Zoom is a new initiative supported by Quinquela Fondos; it features a different artistic concept for the fair: it is made by two projects selected by curator Alejandra Aguado, facing each others. 2 entries; 2 artists; 2 generations; 2 ways of projecting the future through a different way of inhabiting the world. The names behind these projects are Tomás Saraceno and Gyula Kosice. LL: How Mauricio Macri’s government and policies are supporting the promotion of Argentine art abroad? What do you think about the government’s recent decision to authorize the exportation of up to 15 pieces of national art a year, with no further processing than a notice to the Ministry of Culture?
JC: Public policies affect the local market in a very positive way. The latest regulation helps the circulation of Argentine art by stimulating key factors for its international projection. The new conjuncture will facilitate exchange, participation and international collecting of Argentine art. In recent years, the presence of local galleries at international fairs has increased thanks to the fundamental support of the Investment Agency of Argentina. This shift, together with the growing number of Argentine artists in exhibitions and residences abroad, are key factors encouraging us to continue stimulating and working for greater benefits and facilities in the art scene. Further regulations are on their way and, for sure, will have a very positive impact on the local market. LL: 2017 hosted the first global edition of the Art Basel Cities initiative, of which the arteBA Foundation is a Partner; and the Art Basel Cities week, curated by Cecilia Alemani, is now expected in September 2018. The arteBA Focus/District of the Arts platform seems to work in the very same direction. What domino effect do you expect for the art scene in Argentina?
JC: Art Basel Cities Buenos Aires program is undoubtedly another of the highlights of this moment. In November 2017, starting from a strategic alliance with the City of Buenos Aires, we worked together with Basel for the first step of the program. In this phase, more than 140 guests from abroad visited the city to join an exclusive agenda of events and activities connecting them to the local scene. The program was carried out within the framework of arteBA Focus, a new experimental platform we organized with the Ministry of Culture of the City. For its 2018 edition, arteBA Focus will renew its contents in partnership with Meridiano (Argentinean Association of galleries): the underlying idea is to offer a new event format (within the framework of Art Basel Cities) able to offer –like Gallery weekend –an artistic experience through three different areas of the city: Retiro/ Recoleta; Palermo/Villa Crespo; District of the Arts. These partnerships can really challenge the established, old working models and help us creating disrupting new proposals! LL: For its 25th anniversary, arteBA Foundation decided to create a magazine focused on documenting and spreading the contemporary art scene in Argentina. What has been the success of this initiative so far?
JC: arteBA Magazine is one of the last initiatives of our Foundation. It is a very important project sharing with the audience a selection of the current local artistic production, in Argentina and abroad. It reviews Argentine art exhibited in commercial galleries, foundations, museums and local and international events. During the 27th edition of the fair we are going to present the 5th issue of the magazine– which counts with a luxury, selected editorial board (Agustín Pérez Rubio and Leticia Obeid) and is dedicated to the work of women artists.
LL: arteBA stands out for the level of its acquisition and for its international programs positioning Argentine art. Can you mention some emblematic works of Argentine art that have been acquired by leading international institutions in recent years?
We developed our acquisition programs for local and international museums with the support of companies and private patrons; they have been key in recent years to enhance museum collections and spread the Argentine art all over the world. Each year, more than 20 museums buy new artworks. Museums such as Reina Sofía in Madrid, Guggenheim in New York, Tate Modern in London, Mali in Lima, LACMA in Los Angeles, MACBA in Barcelona have incorporated pieces by Liliana Maresca, Mirtha Dermisache, Magdalena Jitrik, Fernanda Laguna, David Lamelas, Ana Gallardo, Marta Minujín among many others. We’ll see how many artists will join the heritage of participating museums this year.
Review arteBA 2018 Exhibitors List, Exhibitors List arteBA 2018.
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