Autumn art highlight: Art Basel Cities

Buenos Aires is Art Basel Cities' inaugural partner city. ― AFP pic
Buenos Aires is Art Basel Cities' inaugural partner city. ― AFP pic

BUENOS AIRES, Aug 12 ― One of the art world's most highly-anticipated events of 2018 takes place this September, as Buenos Aires hosts the inaugural Art Basel Cities programme. Find out more about the initiative and its first edition.

What is Art Basel Cities?

The organisers of Art Basel and its offshoots in Miami and Hong Kong are going beyond the art fair for their latest initiative, trying to attract new attention to a city's art scene. Art Basel's role is to select partner cities with emerging or established cultural scenes and to help develop vibrant arts programs specific to each city meant to engage an international audience.

Why Buenos Aires?

The launch of Art Basel Cities was revealed back in March 2016, followed six months later by the news that Buenos Aires would be the first partner city. In revealing their decision, organizers emphasised the city's role as a gateway to Latin America and a hotbed for innovative thinking, with a rich avant-garde tradition.

The city boasts more than 80 art galleries along with its museums and public institutions and recently launched a project to develop a new art and design district in the neighborhoods of La Boca, San Telmo and Barracas.

What's on the programme?

Cecilia Alemani, director of High Line Art in New York, is artistic director of the Buenos Aires programme, and will oversee a week of public arts programming in the city from September 6 to 12.

Named “Hopscotch” (Rayuela) after the experimental novel by Argentine writer Julio Cortázar and its non-linear narrative, the inaugural event will take place across multiple neighbourhoods, in venues including plazas, parks, abandoned buildings, museums of curiosities and derelict structures ― in short, spaces not typically devoted to contemporary art.

Highlights include Maurizio Cattelan's “Eternity,” which will take the form of a pop-up “cemetery for the living” in the neighbourhood of Palermo, for which artists and amateurs are invited to participate by creating tombstones for living people.

American artist David Horvitz, meanwhile, is commemorating the centennial of French artist Marcel Duchamp's 1918 sojourn in Buenos Aires, while Argentine artist Eduardo Basualdo has devised a “unique sensorial landscape” through a progression of sculptural encounters along the Rio de la Plata.

Find programming details, visitor information, an exhibition catalog and more at https://www.artbasel.com/cities/buenos-aires/overview. ― AFP-Relaxnews