Art Basel Cities Week in Buenos Aires: a week full of arts and culture

Published on 8/24/2018 by Christoph Spangenberg
Eduardo Navarro: Sound Mirror (Art Basel Cities: Buenos Aires; MCH Group)
A week packed with exhibition openings and guided tours, talks, studio viewings and parties: the Art Basel Cities Week will be held in Buenos Aires for the first time from 6 to 12 September. The highlight of the week will be Hopscotch, an exhibition shown in three districts of the city and at the same time a journey to squares and parks, abandoned buildings and industrial spaces. Patrick Foret, Director Business Initiatives at Art Basel, talks about the Cities Week and the new Art Basel Cities Initiative.

Most people know Art Basel because of the three art fairs in Basel, Miami Beach and Hong Kong. Art Basel Cities: Buenos Aires is currently taking place with the highlight, the Art Basel Cities Week in September. What is Art Basel Cities?

Launched in 2016,  Art Basel Cities is an Art Basel Initiative that expands Art Basel's engagement in the art world from staging art fairs to working in partnership with cities to develop bespoke programs and present the artworld with new opportunities to engage with the cities' cultural offerings.

With Buenos Aires as its first city, Art Basel Cities is developing a multi-year initiative to help highlight and strengthen the Argentinian contemporary art scene, while engaging with the full spectrum of its visual arts community.

Why Buenos Aires?

We believe that Buenos Aires is a great partner due to its longstanding engagement with art, design and culture more generally. Galleries from Argentina regularly exhibit at our shows and are invested in representing their artists on a global as well as international level. Collectors from the region are just as invested and are growing into important figures of the artworld.

Patrick Foret, Art Basel (MCH Group)

We are thrilled to work with these different key players, as well as local institutions to develop a vibrant and content-driven program specific to the city, connecting Buenos Aires to the global art world through our broad network. Culture is part of the city's DNA and offers us a lot of potential to develop a truly unique program. But also the enthusiasm and commitment from the government and from the local art scene to host the Art Basel Cities program has also certainly influenced our decision.

Art Basel Cities Week will take place in Buenos Aires from September 6 to 12. What are the highlights?

Under the artistic direction of Cecilia Alemani, the week will feature 'Hopscotch (Rayuela)’, an inventive, multi-venue exhibition that connects visual arts, urban spaces, and the city’s histories in unexpected ways, alongside a strong program of Talks as well as exhibitions and events hosted by our Cultural Partners.

The program features a strong selection of Argentine artists such as Eduardo Basualdo whose installation along the Rio de la Plata will conjure up a progression of sculptural encounters engaging the viewers in a unique sensorial landscape; Ad Minoliti will stage her work in one of the few early 20th century Rationalist buildings in Buenos Aires, creating an installation that will also host a feminist symposium featuring talks and conversations with artists, writers and activists; Buenos Aires based artist Luciana Lamothe will present an oversized sculpture that will function as an extension of its site, evoking a space suspended between construction and destruction, present and future, architecture and ruin.

Other highlights include a special intervention and experiment in social sculpture by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan – titled Eternity; Barbara Kruger's large-scale mural painted in the colors of the Argentinian flag covering an abandoned grain silo in Puerto Madero or David Horvitz's homage to Marcel Duchamp, commemorating the centennial of the French artist’s nine months sojourn in Buenos Aires in 1918. Full details of their works can be found on:  artbasel.com/cities/catalog/overview

But Art Basel Cities Week is not the only part of Art Basel Cities: Buenos Aires...

Absolutely, Art Basel Cities: Buenos Aires is a long-term collaboration with the vibrant Argentine capital, that will explore and support the expansion the city’s cultural ecosystem and highlight its dynamic art scene, promoting it to a global audience and Art Basel’s extensive network. The long-term elements of the program were launched in November 2017 comprising of several initiatives to help facilitate professional collaborations, catalyze support for cultural projects, and help strengthen the local art scene.

Apart from the Cities initiative: What are your favorite places in Buenos Aires?

In addition to a very lively art scene and crowded museums every day of the week, Buenos Aires has an impressive number of theaters and bookshops. Recoleta is a very lively neighborhood with strong character, many cafes and restaurants as well as building with fascinating art deco architecture. Watching live tango performances in the street of Recoleta is definitely an experience not to be missed.

> Click here to see a slideshow with the highlights of Hopscotch (Rayuela)

More information about Art Basel Cities: Buenos Aires: www.artbasel.com/cities

Christoph Spangenberg

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