Art Basel Cities Week in Buenos Aires

In the neighbourhoods of
La Boca, Puerto Madero and Palermo
Buenos Aires, Argentina
6 – 12 September 2018

Taking place from September 6 to 12, 2018, the Art Basel Cities Week in Buenos Aires, supported by Buenos Aires City Government, will be a unique opportunity for local and international visitors to discover the Buenos Aires’ art scene through public art exhibitions, installations, performances and events across the Argentine capital. Under the artistic direction of Cecilia Alemani, the week presents ‘Hopscotch (Rayuela)’, a multilayered experience that connects visual arts, urban spaces and the city’s histories in unexpected ways. ‘Hopscotch’ will be accompanied by a Cultural Partner Program organized with over 20 of the city’s leading arts institutions and a Talks Program of over 30 Artist Talks and Masterclasses. With the participation of 40 galleries, Buenos Aires will also be host to the very first Gallery Weekend Buenos Aires. Art Basel Cities is supported by UBS as Global Lead Partner.

The 18 participating artists selected by Cecilia Alemani as part of ‘Hopscotch’ comprise of Eduardo Basualdo, Pia Camil, Maurizio Cattelan, Gabriel Chaile, Alex Da Corte, Santiago de Paoli, Narcisa Hirsch, David Horvitz, Leandro Katz, Barbara Kruger, Luciana Lamothe, Ad Minoliti, Eduardo Navarro, Alexandra Pirici, Mika Rottenberg, Mariela Scafati, Vivian Suter and Stan VanDerBeek. Taking place across the neighborhoods of La Boca, Puerto Madero-Costanera Sur and Palermo-Recoleta, ‘Hopscotch’ borrows its name from the experimental novel by Argentine writer Julio Cortázar, which follows a non-linear narrative that can be read in multiple sequences. Like the book and the game, the city-wide exhibition leads the visitor on different paths and journeys throughout the city, via site-specific works, experiential installations and live performances all along discovering the unusual and striking locations of the city of Buenos Aires.

Additional highlights include unique artist activations that take place throughout the week and across the city. These are all open to the public. On Thursday, September 6, the week begins with the unveiling of Maurizio Cattelan’s ‘Eternity’ (2018) – a temporary cemetery featuring dozens of tombstones created by local artists, as a tribute to the living. In honor of Leandro Katz’s contribution to ‘Hopscotch’ – a new version of his ‘Alfabeto Lunar’ (1979) consisting of 27 tiles on the entryway patio to the National Library – a Lunar Party will be held in the evening of Saturday, September 8. Ending the week on Wednesday, September 12 at the Ex Cervecería Munich, an old German brewery, Pia Camil and Vivian Suter’s large-scale, textile-based installations will integrate human participation.

Art Basel Cities Week will also present a Cultural Partner Program of exhibitions, performances and special events at the city’s leading museums, foundations, associations and non-profit organizations, selected by Cecilia Alemani. These include Naama Tsabar’s site-specific sonic environment activated by multiple musicians and performers at Faena Art Center, curated by Zoe Lukov. The solo exhibition of Benjamín Felice at Móvil, followed by a participatory performance with La Ira de Dios’s residency program. A public workshop with Uruguayan conceptual artist Luis Camnitzer focused on critical reflection on the terms ‘art’ and ‘politics’, by his work ‘5 piezas’ at Parque de la Memoria; a music performance created by Santiago Villalba and Carolina Piola at Art Basel Cities Week will also present a Cultural Partner Program of exhibitions, performances and special events at the city’s leading museums, foundations, associations and non-profit organizations, selected by Cecilia Alemani. These include Naama Tsabar’s site-specific sonic environment activated by multiple musicians and performers at Faena Art Center, curated by Zoe Lukov. The solo exhibition of Benjamín Felice at Móvil, followed by a participatory performance with La Ira de Dios’s residency program. A public workshop with Uruguayan conceptual artist Luis Camnitzer focused on critical reflection on the terms ‘art’ and ‘politics’, by his work ‘5 piezas’ at Parque de la Memoria; a music performance created by Santiago Villalba and Carolina Piola at Fundacion OSDE; and a film screening and panel discussion around experimental Latin American films presented by curators Gabriela Golder and Andrés Denegri at El Moderno – Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires. Further exhibitions include ‘Alexander Calder: Teatro De Encuentros’ at Fundación Proa; ‘Cindy Sherman Richard Prince, Colección Astrup Fearnley’ at MALBA – Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires and the group shows ‘Democracia en obra’ at CKK and ‘Historia de dos Mundos’ at El Moderno.

Coinciding with Art Basel Cities Week, arteBA Foundation and Meridiano, the Argentine Chamber of Art Galleries, in collaboration with the Government of the City of Buenos Aires are launching Buenos Aires very first Gallery Weekend Buenos Aires (GWBA). Spread throughout the three cultural circuits of Recoleta-Retiro, Palermo-Villa CrespoChacarita and La Boca-San Telmo, GWBA will offer a special program of exhibitions in more than 40 galleries, visits to artists’ studios, performances, and art talks.

The Art Basel Cities Talks Program, having started in November 2017, is taking place throughout the year, and set to coincide with key cultural activations in Buenos Aires. With more than 30 talks during the Art Basel Cities Week, the program will be structured around two formats of engagement: ‘Artist Talks’ and ‘Masterclasses’ designed for Buenos Aires’ art professionals as well as university students. Highlights of the Artist Talks include in-depth conversations with Leandro Katz, the Stan VanDerBeek Estate, Gabriel Chaile and Mariela Scafati. Along with Masterclasses on topics such as ‘Art Writing and Communication’, ‘Crowdfunding’ or ‘Reimagining the Museum’. All talks are free and open to the public, places are on a first come first served basis.

Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, the Head of Government of the City of Buenos Aires, points out the importance to the City hosting this week of art: “We have the opportunity to take advantage of a program of activities with the best of national and international art, combined with a strong presence in the public space, one of the great characteristics of the City. Presenting this program to all the neighbors in the same year in which Buenos Aires will have the Youth Olympic Games seems to us a great impulse to continue positioning Buenos Aires as one of the great capitals”.

Sylvia Coutinho, Head of Latin America, UBS said: “Over our 25 years of partnership with Art Basel, we have continuously nurtured our mutual commitment to pioneer bold initiatives with a strong cultural impact. We are excited to be supporting Art Basel Cities, the first of its kind, in the thriving cultural community Buenos Aires has to offer. This ambitious program promises boundless opportunities of cultural discovery.” During the Art Basel Cities Week, UBS are contributing to the Talks program by presenting the Argentine artist Guillermo Kuitca, who is featured in the UBS Art Collection, in conversation with Pablo León de la Barra, Latin American Curator at Large, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum at MAMBA on September 7, 2018. The talk will reflect on the artist’s work, the city as a theater and stage, and the development of the art scene in Buenos Aires.