Rebecca Kleinman 2017-11-30 21:21:57
Art Basel Cities, a long-term new initiative, bows next year in Argentina’s capital with a new high-profile curator in charge. Last year, Art Basel selected Buenos Aires as its first partner in the new Art Basel Cities initiative, a long-term collaboration designed to foster a city’s cultural scene—its galleries, artists, public institutions, nonprofits, etc.—and promote it around the world. Patrick Foret, Art Basel’s director of business initiatives, says Argentina’s capital was a shoo-in for “its long-standing engagement with art, design and culture,” as well as its wealth of galleries and collectors who already participate in the fair. That this is a particularly fascinating and pivotal time for Latin American art was just the icing on the cake. “We could not have wished for a more passionate and dedicated partner,” says Foret, who cites Buenos Aires’s more than 80 galleries, the “enthusiasm and commitment” of its government, and lively, art-friendly districts like La Boca and Barracas as factors that swayed the decision. The program will also include foreign residencies for local artists. Leading this first Art Basel Cities Week— whose public art program takes place September 11-16, 2018—is Cecilia Alemani, the prominent director and chief curator of High Line Art in New York and curator of the Italian Pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale. “Buenos Aires has the energy and willingness to grow,” she says. “I hope I can bring the expertise I have gained in many years working for the High Line. I think the projects share quite a few similarities: the excitement of a new platform with a strong public component; the relationship with the city, its architecture and public spaces; and finally the freedom of using the city as a pedestal for contemporary artworks.” Alemani adds that the Argentine capital reminds her of her hometown, Milan: “I love Buenos Aires. The architecture is so European, but the city has a distinct flavor of its own. It’s a city that already has a very vibrant scene: fantastic museums, cultural institutions, but also grassroots nonprofits, galleries and talented artists. I see great potential here and look forward to working with the artists and institutions in the region.” Cecilia Alemani, director and chief curator of High Line Art and artistic director of Art Basel Cities: Buenos Aires, pictured in Venice ahead of this year’s Venice Biennale.
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