Faena Art Announces Launch of Faena Festival in Buenos Aires in Collaboration with arteBA and Semana del Arte, April 8-14
Following the success of the inaugural Festival, presented in December 2018 in Miami Beach during Miami Art Week, Faena Festival arrives in Buenos Aires. The Buenos Aires edition reimagines some of the highlights from Miami and commissions new installations and site-specific performances that reflect the multiplicity of cultures, voices, and people across America and its physical, conceptual, and political borders.
Faena Art announced today the commissions and programs for the Buenos Aires edition of Faena Festival, the multidisciplinary festival that will be presented during Semana del Arte and arteBA. Running from April 8 through 14, 2019, the Faena Festival: This Is Not America, is keyed to Buenos Aires’s enduring role as a port that welcomes migrants, refugees, and tourists from across the Americas, and from countries throughout the world. The festival engages with the multiplicity of communities and cultures and the palimpsest of histories that have created the Americas while responding specifically to the role of Buenos Aires in the Western Hemisphere. All programming is free and open to the public. This is the second iteration of This is Not America, following its launch in Miami during Miami Art Week in December 2018.
Faena Festival: This Is Not America draws its inspiration from, and is once again anchored by, Alfredo Jaar’s iconic piece, A Logo for America. It features commissions, installations, videos, and performances by Cecilia Bengolea, Isabel Lewis, Luna Paiva and Fernando Rubio, and includes a film and video art section with works by Joseph Beuys, Ana Teresa Fernández, Martín Legón, Amalia Ulman, and Boris Mitic, among others. Many of the artists who participated in the Miami edition of the Festival have reimagined their works or created new pieces for Buenos Aires.
"I always imagined our festival as a polyphonic platform to amplify voices and bring together artists from different fields. We do not believe in limitations or geopolitical divisions, so in this edition of Faena Festival we explore the diverse interpretations of the Americas in all their diversity and complexity,” said Alan Faena.
The Festival proposes a new exhibition curatorial format, which transcends the Faena District in Puerto Madero, to occupy different spaces and areas of the city of Buenos Aires, with a series of public art interventions and performances that explore the multiplicity of communities and cultures, as well as the palimpsest of histories that have created the Americas, while specifically responding to Buenos Aires as one of its hemispheric centers. The various spaces intervened include: Plaza de la República, Sociedad Rural Argentina, Parque Semana del Arte, Faena Hotel Buenos Aires, and Faena Art Center.
In the dark times in which we live, the spaces of art and culture are the last spaces of freedom. It is there where artists can breathe. When politics has failed miserably, culture is our most precious capital. Affirm it: culture = capital. Art must go out into the street and occupy every space available to try to correct the landscape of lies that overwhelm us. We have to create small cracks in the system. Thanks to Faena, first in Miami, now in my beloved Buenos Aires, A Logo for America is still alive and insists on the true meaning of the word America. We are all Americans,” says artist Alfredo Jaar.
"Faena Festival explores America as a concept rather than a place, a contested and powerful idea that is bigger than the waters and borders that frame it," said Curator Zoe Lukov. "Artists in the Festival have been invited to explore the concept of America as a myth and a narrative that has sometimes bound and divided us, but that ultimately has the power to unify. By occupying several interstitial zones of the urban environment, the performances and site-specific installations seek to re-imagine transitional or in-between spaces as places of refuge, connection, and community that are representative of what ‘America’ is and can become. The Festival was conceived for Miami and now for Buenos Aire as places that are emblematic and iconic in the Americas, cities that have served as gateways and sanctuaries in the region.”
Organized by Zoe Lukov, curator of Faena Art, the festival presents new site-specific installations and performances by renowned artists, including:
Alfredo Jaar’s iconic work, A Logo for America (1987/2019) will be presented for the first time in South America in a public space in a classic advertising poster on the corner of Av. 9 de Julio and Carlos Pellegrini, in front of the emblematic Obelisk. The gesture recalls the way the work was originally presented on an electronic advertising screen in Times Square in New York. In the work, the phrase "This is Not America" dialogues with the multiple geographic formations that Jaar proposes for our America, making reference to the fact that the name of America is routinely and erroneously applied to only a small part of the continent, when in fact America covers the continent in all its extension from Tierra del Fuego to Alaska.
April 8, 7:00 pm
April 9–14, 7:00 am to midnight
Exhibited on large-scale public LED billboard
PLAZA DE LA REPÚBLICA, avenue 9 de Julio
Luna Paiva’s installation for the Plaza Seeber / Parque Semana del Arte draws on the history and political context of this park. A space for reflection in the natural world, the plaza is heavily marked with the architectural and weight of our American history, the multiple that have come to form our national narratives. Paiva gives us totems—to the past and to the present. From a bronze totem, that appears to be laid stone by stone, a relic by an ancient people in praise of a long forgotten spirit or natural wonder that we can only imagine, to the contemporary totem of a stack of picnic chairs in bronze—that might be the towering remnants from a party now over, or perhaps an invitation to grab a chair and gather 'round—Paiva has created two new monuments to add into this conversation towards national becoming. Monoblock Chairs and Totem are artifacts, presented here in an almost religious format—like contents of a shipwreck or what is left after an apocalyptic storm—imbued with a new monumental spirituality and historical significance. An archaeological meditation, a vision of what remains and what will be memorialized after everything else is stripped away.
April 9, 6:30 pm
April 10–14, all day in public space
PARQUE SEMANA DEL ARTE – PLAZA SEEBER, Av. Sarmiento y Av. Libertador
Cecilia Bengolea conceived La Danza de la Esponja–a site-specific installation and performance for the exterior space of La Rural space as an exploratory platform where urban dances, in this case the Dancehall, is object and subject at the same time. Bengolea’s choreography is created in collaboration with Dancehall dancer and choreographer Kissy McCoy and explores the intersection of the sacred and the profane, creating a new embodied language based on the interpolation of bodies, light, video, and animation. In dialogue with the history of the Pista Central of Sociedad Rural Argentina as a space for political congregation, Bengolea creates new community through the presence of bodies in movement that are in turn mediated by video and projection. Transcending the traditional limits of the staging, the choreography and installation is also the memory, the archive, and a proposal for the future, a dance of hybrid bodies that travel between the spiritual and the physical.
April 10, 8:30 pm, by invitation only
April 11, 7:30 pm, free and open to the public
PISTA CENTRAL DE LA SOCIEDAD RURAL ARGENTINA. arteBA
Isabel Lewis will host an occasion—a celebratory gathering of things, people, plants, dances, and scent. Lewis unfolds a specific dramaturgy attuned to her guests and their energies, shaping a live experience using choreography, music, spoken address, and storytelling in ways that allow for conversation, contemplation, dancing, listening, or just simply being. She creates an aesthetic situation that moves beyond the merely visual where the entire human sensorium is addressed. Lewis poses the question of how to live a good and flourishing life in tempestuous times and proposes the figures of the lover, the dancer, and the gardener as guides on this quest. Lewis will be joined in the performance by local dancers.
April 11, 5:00 pm and 9:00 pm
SALA CATEDRAL, FAENA ART CENTER BUENOS AIRES
In Cuando Hablamos de Amor, a philosophical sketch for a durational performance between people in love, the artist Fernando Rubio invites the Brazilian actress Laura Limp—his former partner and the mother of his son—to be the central figure and action of the work. By reviewing the multiple forms of love and connection in order to better understand the mystery and questions of love, this new commission is a performance for an audience of one, who is drawn into an intimate and transformational experience with the actress or her double—an Argentine actress—in the adjacent room. This commission encourages action and doesn’t allow for the passivity of the viewer—and it is through this agency that we are urged to reflect on how and why love can allow for infinite possibility. The two actresses will be living quotidian experiences within the Faena Hotel, within which they will be joined by different viewers over the course of the duration.
April 9, 1 pm–5 pm, by invitation only
April 11–14, all day and night
Durational performance, 4 hours + 96 hours uninterrupted
SUITES @ FAENA HOTEL BUENOS AIRES
Film and Video Art
The Festival will include a film and video art component featuring the works by such artists as Joseph Beuys, Ana Teresa Fernández, Martín Legón, Amalia Ulman and Boris Mitic, among others.
April 12–14, 3:00 pm–10:00 pm
BALLROOM @ FAENA HOTEL BUENOS AIRES
FAENA ART is grateful for the generous support of Banco Ciudad, Ministerio de Cultura de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, DS Automobiles, and recognizes our partners at Semana del Arte and Fundación arteBA.