La Noche de los Museos

A little while ago Jesse and I decided to take a trip to a museum and then go out to dinner. Museums are open late on the weekends so we thought it would make a nice little night. We called up a friend of ours to invite him out and he told us that that Saturday was actually La Noche de los Museos in Buenos Aires. As we’ve written in the past, the government here believes that cultural events should be accessible to all the people in the city and promotes artistic expression as seen in the graffiti around the streets. Sometimes government really does reflect the priorities of society and in this case that means giving subsidies to cultural establishments like the opera and museums so that more people can attend. Every year on the second Saturday in November museums, galleries, workshops, and other spaces of art open up their doors to the people and stay open well into the early morning hours. There are so many museums included (from the Lighthouse Museum to the Ann Frank Museum to the St. Loyola Cathedral) that people often plan out their night so they can hit more than one museum.  It really seems as though the entire city turns out for the various events spread throughout the city.

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Our museum of choice was the MACBA (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Buenos Aires). We got there a little early (around 830) and were able to get a good spot in line (yes, of course, a line. Thank you Argentina). Everyone waited patiently, as usual, chatting and trying to steer clear of the local stores and restaurants that were still open. Eventually we made it inside.

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The museum is relatively small and only had one exhibition, Geometric Abstraction Since 1950, showing along with it’s permanent collection. Here are a couple links to pages giving more information about the permanent collection and the exhibit.

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The line formed at the entrance of the museum slowly but steadily moves along. By the time we were leaving though the line had snaked around the side of the building and down the block. Earlier is always faster in BA.

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People exiting the museum into the night and perhaps onto another museum.

As with all museums (at least I think all) here, you can’t take pictures inside. Rebellious me was able to snap a couple and take a short illegal video.

This is a performance held on the first floor. But in case you want a full and infinitely more professional video of the performance, here is the link to the museums video on their Facebook page.

The MACBA is about 4 levels and is sleek and modern as you might expect from a contemporary art museum. Each level is one room that hosts different pieces from one or more artists. One of my favorites was on the basement level. It was a large wall covered in different pieces of colorful fabric that looked plastic. A light projected from above covered the piece in spinning colorful light that, when combined with the colorful fabric shapes on the wall, produced a sort of optical illusion. It reminded me of my grandparents old kaleidoscope that was filled with different gems and made the most beautiful patterns and colors when held up to the light. I could stair through that thing for hours.

Marta Minujin_freaking on fluo_2010

Marta Minujin, Freaking on Fluo (2010) – Imagine this with multicolored spiraling lights lighting it up. Trippy but beautiful.

Other cool pieces

Richard Anuskiewicz_Sin titulo_1975

Richard Anuskiewicz, Sin titulo (1975) – To me, this looks like a visual representation of auto-tune

Polk Smith_CONSTELLATION EDGE OF SIGHT 2 OVALS N II_1973

Polk Smith, CONSTELLATION EDGE OF SIGHT 2 OVALS N II (1973)

Juan Mele, Obra Homenaje a Mondrian (1948) - Reminds me of some of the art in my grandparents house in Blowing Rock, NC

Juan Mele, Obra Homenaje a Mondrian (1948) – Reminds me of some of the art in my grandparents house in Blowing Rock, NC

Being a part of La Noche de los Museos was really exciting. I wish we had known about it sooner and had been able to visit another museum, but nevertheless it was a really fun way to spend the evening.

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