Art week in Miami is a spectacular exploration of new and established artists, both indoors and outdoors. Museums, galleries, and special exhibition spaces are presenting an array of immersive and unique showcases—and many circle around an important theme or narrative.
This proved to be true with the 2019 edition of Art Basel Cities: Buenos Aires, open to the public in Collins Park. Spread throughout the large park, in front of The Bass museum, is a new exhibition by the sector entitled “Disruptions,” featuring six sculptural works by Argentine artists: Matías Duville, Graciela Hasper, Marie Orensanz, Pablo Reinoso, Marcela Sinclair, and Agustina Woodgate. Some of the large-scale works are interactive, while others trigger deep thought about the planet, while all touching upon one theme—exploring the context of the site, and how the viewer will experience the works in the urban landscape setting.
Earlier this week, we walked through “Disruptions” with its curators, Diana Wechsler (an art historian, researcher, and curator) and Florencia Battiti (a professor, art critic, and curator), to learn a bit more about each installation.
“We didn’t want to look like a traditional exhibition,” said Battiti. “We wanted to intervene the park, but not change its identity as a public space. The layout of the park is really octagonal, as you may see, so we tried to change it and break it up a little bit.”
Approaching the site, we were immediately impacted by the pieces—seen from afar and experienced thoroughly up close. Duville’s Big Bang America was a protruding mix of natural and manmade materials, including rock, a bent steel tube, cactus, and cypress; Hasper’s bold, colorful blocks, Intemperie (Outdoor), welcomed guests to jump inside; Orensanz’s cast iron key-shaped piece entitled Invisible strikes the public with a language game centered around the illusive word; Reinoso’s Still Tree steel and treated wood sculpture proposed questions on the mix of found and created materials working together in a post-industrial world; Sinclair’s Derrame (Spill) riff on Ugo Rondinone’s Miami Mountains was seen scattered throughout the lawn, encouraging visitors to create their own; and Woodgate’s The Source was an incredible interactive working water fountain, made to question the threats the Biscayne Aquifer has due to climate change.
“We tried to find the previous interventions in the park to do something different,” added Wechsler. “So, we asked, ‘How do we deal with the traditions of this park, as a space for exhibitions?’ and ‘How do we change the ways to go around the park?’ because it’s super symmetrical and organized. We also tried to find some pieces that interrupt the day-by-day world with some questions about the environment, politics, and the system of art.”
In addition to “Disruptions,” Art Basel Cities: Buenos Aires 2019 will host a series of talks throughout the week: Thursday, December 5, from 4–5 p.m., Marcela Sinclair and Agustina Woodgate in conversation with Florencia Battiti and Diana Wechsler; Friday, December 6, from 2:15–2:45 p.m. with Pablo Reinoso and from 4:15–4:45 p.m. with Matías Duville; Saturday, December 7, from 2:15–2:45 p.m. with Graciela Hasper and from 4:15–4:45 p.m. with Marie Orensanz.