This weekend (18th-19th November), the neighborhood of La Boca will play host to a multitude of exhibitions, concerts and one off events as part of a small festival celebrating the barrio as the art district of Buenos Aires. Events are taking place throughout the area, making this weekend the perfect time to explore some of the city’s lesser frequented galleries and spaces.
From Saturday at midday, Usina Del Arte is hosting Buenos Aires Jazz Festival, starting with a workshop lead by the Matthew Shipp Trio, and ending with a concert from the Spanish duo Chicuelo and Marco Mezquida, at 9pm. Staying inside Usina Del Arte, guests can then see ‘La Forma de La Boca’, (or ‘The Shape of La Boca’). Walking into the gallery, guests are plunged into a space of reflection on the heritage and current climate of La Boca. Self-professedly, it ‘presents bodies of work that redefine the city’ – engaging with ideas of domesticity, history, memory, architecture, sustainable development and marginality.
Gian Paolo Minelli’s series of black and white photographs greet visitors on arrival, and the images fill the room with a sense of moody dilapidation: corrugated iron, empty streets and protest banners populate the photos, recalling, perhaps, the meat curing plants and tenement housing for European immigrants around which La Boca was built. The formality of the black and white print juxtaposes the disrepair of the scenes, a contrast which was perhaps born out of Minelli’s desire to ‘erase the limits between what society accepts and what it excludes’.
Further into the exhibition, at the end of a long, labyrinthine corridor, sits Pablo Siquier’s mural: a mass of geometric 3-D lines spreading across a white wall, shapes which, on closer inspection, appear to be one long wire, winding and twisting around itself. Siquier claims that he was interested in the disjunct between the ‘apparent perfection’ of computer generated images of scaffolding, and the ‘vague inaccuracies’ of a charcoal mural, a medium which is ‘flimsy, porous and discontinuous’. Siquier’s drawing successfully inhabits the paradox of simultaneous perfection and inexactitude, in an ode to the most prevalent art form in La Boca: wall art.
Leaving Usina Del Arte, visitors can walk down Avenida Amirante Brown towards PROA, situated along the docks of La Boca, where special events will be held, and then along to ‘Barro’, a cavernous space tucked away behind a grey garage door. ‘Barro’ are hosting an event with Matias Duville, the gallery’s current artist in resident, to mark his new exhibition ‘Romance Atomico’, currated by Anissa Touati. Featuring huge sculptures (called ‘oysters’) made of tar-like material, and projections and music by the artist, the exhibition challenges our perception of how we conceive of ourselves in relation to space and dark matter. It is, Duville says ‘a mini big bang, an action reaction stemming from a tiny molecule’.
Go down after 7.30pm on saturday to see the space, the art, and hear the artist perform live psychedelic, new wave music with his band, ‘Centolla Society’.
For more information, see:
Usina Del Arte: http://www.buenosaires.gob.ar/usinadelarte
Buenos Aires Jazz Festival: http://festivales.buenosaires.gob.ar/2017/jazz/es/home
PROA Gallery: http://www.proa.org/eng/
Barro Gallery: http://www.barro.cc/en