Buenos Aires Times

culture 2017 - THE YEAR IN REVIEW

Three cultural highlights for 2017: the critic's choice

It was a good year for the Buenos Aires art scene and we had quite some beautiful exhibitions in the city.

Saturday 30 December, 2017
Ai Weiwei’s Forever Bicycles installation set up in front of the La Boca-based PROA.
Ai Weiwei’s Forever Bicycles installation set up in front of the La Boca-based PROA. Foto:Guyot Mendoza.

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One of the most magical shows of the year was Tomas Saraceno’s How to catch the universe in a spiderweb at the Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art. With intelligence, heaps of patience, and a high sense of aesthetics the Argentine artist, who resides in Berlin, invited the audience to rethink interconnectivity through the creation of a huge web made by 700 spiders. After months of preparations, the web glistered in the most beautiful way, and one could quickly become lost in his galaxy. If you haven’t seen it already, make sure you check it out – it’s on display till February 2018.

The second edition of the Performance Biennale in Buenos Aires also delivered some gems in May and June. Out of the 100 interdisciplinary works – with artists from the visual arts, theatre and dance – some performances really stood out, such as the piece by Yann Marussich, who sat still in a glass box in the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, wearing no more than a loincloth. While sitting there motionlessly, the heat in the box made him sweat. His body became blue, as visiable coloured fluids eased from his body, turning his physique into a painting.

Audiences were expected to peek and move on, but many kept still and watched in wonder, fixated on the natural process of man. Of a complete other calibre, but within the same context of BP17, Lola Arias’ Audition for a Demonstration really hit a nerve.

Finally, for my last choice, it’s a battle between the MALBA exhibition featuring photographer Diane Arbus and the current Ai Weiwei show at PROA.

Both shows have brought artists of the highest quality to our capital. In the Beginning, showing the photographical encounters of Arbus in the city of New York in the 1950s, was set up brilliantly, while having Ai Weiwei is everything a contemporary art lover could wish for.

SILVIA ROTTENBERG

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