For Art’s Sake

Once again, this weekend is taking me on a great adventure out of the city. Because of this I’ll be unable to post this Monday, I thought I’d do a short overview of my week so far, then post again when I get back to recount my latest journey.

This week was a very art-centred one, thanks to my Contemporary Argentinian Art class. This class is by far my favourite. The professor is very interesting and is actually an artist himself. I like knowing that when we discuss pieces we’re hearing the opinion of an artist and not an art critic. But besides the art we talk about in class, he also keeps us up to date on what’s going on in the Buenos Aires art scene every week. This week, he recommended we check out a new piece by the collective Xil Buffone at la Fundación Osde. It was a site specific piece, designed specifically for the room it was shown in. The room, beautiful by itself, was trimmed with fairy lights, both coloured and white. Mirrors lined the walls and a sort of eerie music played.

Palacio almi (2015) by collective Xil Buffone
Palacio almi (2015) by collective Xil Buffone

In general, I like art pieces that work with mirrors; they make you reflect. They allow you to see yourself inside of the work and the art becomes your world. They worked very well in this piece, and the multiple reflections actually reminded me a bit of something I did in my ArtX class first year, thought better produced. That being said, I think I would have liked it better with just the white lights and not the coloured ones. To me, the white ones went better with the music. I believe the piece was an homage to Xul Solar, though, whose work tended to have a very innocent, child-like quality. So, the coloured lights may have been there specifically in reference to him.

The other work in the gallery was really interesting, too. There was one in particular by Delfina Bourse that I really liked. I suppose technically they’re two separate paintings, but they were placed right next to each other and used exactly the same colours, so I couldn’t help but see them as one.

Piece without title (2015) by Delfina Bourse
Piece without title (2015) by Delfina Bourse

To me, it seemed as if the painting on the left is what is behind the painting on the right. In the right hand one it seems as if all the colours are being sucked into the middle and on the left it looks like that’s them coming out the other side. I really can’t wait until we start talking about the reallycontemporary stuff in class. Maybe then I’ll be able to do a little bit more than guess at what I’m looking at… but then again maybe not.

Piece without title (2015) by Paola Vega
Piece without title (2015) by Paola Vega

I also had homework to do before leaving, so Thursday I headed to la Colección Fortabat. The assignment was to pick two Argentinian paintings from between 1905 and 1920 (roughly) and discuss then compare them. This isn’t my favourite period, but I’m certainly finding it more interesting  now that I know more about what I’m looking at. I decided to write about Entre duraznos floridos by Fernando Feder and Acción de arte by Ramon Gómez Cornet. Feder was part of the Nexus group – a group of artists which pretty much defined not only Argentinian art, but quite a bit of Argentinian culture. It was really amazing seeing pieces this important in person, especially Feder because his paintings are so big. It’s so different than seeing them on the projector in class. We hadn’t talked about Cornet in class, but I found the painting pretty interesting. For 1921 in Argentina, where the Vanguard  was being purposefully ignored, it seemed very modern. Still, it had elements of Feder, especially the way the whites were approached. There were no pictures allowed in this museum, so unfortunately I can’t put any up to show you.

This week was also big for me because I moved! My other place was nice; it was pretty close to UCA and Graciela was very helpful. Still, after living on my own terms for three years in Montreal, it was a bit annoying to have to abide by someone’s (quite extensive) rules again. So, I decided to find a place more conducive to the type of experience I’m looking for here. A friend of mine had a free room in her place, so that’s where I am now! I’m living there with six others. I know that sounds like a lot, but the house is huge. It’s actually more like two houses, connected by a yard in the middle. There are two kitchens and a washing machine I’m actually allowed to use! My room is on the third floor and although not exactly beautiful (it’s the cheapest in the house) I’m really happy with the way I’ve decorated it and it feels a bit like my own little fox den. The best part about the place is the location. I’m in Palermo, which is definitely the trendiest neighbourhood in the city. I’ve taken very expensive cab rides back from Palermo my entire first month here, so I’ll definitely be saving money when it comes to that. So Wednesday night, to celebrate my move, my friend Paul and I went out to la Plaza Serrano, which is three blocks from my house. We ended up seeing a comedy show, then sitting down out on a terrace for some drinks. The whole plaza is just covered with chairs and tables outside; the different places bleed into one another. I’m so happy to be living in this neighbourhood. I feel like I’m going to understand the beat of Buenos Aires night life much better.

Now for a mini-trip to Patagonia! I’m starting off in El Calafate and then heading to El Chalten. I should have a post about my little adventure up by Thursday.

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