Art Basel Cities, the cultural exchange between Art Basel and one global city, made its way stateside this year for Art Basel in Miami Beach. The fair brought six artists from Buenos Aires, the inaugural Art Basel City, for Disruptions, a public art exhibition located in Collins Park right in front of the Bass Museum that ran from December 3 to 8. The Ministry of Culture in Buenos Aires tapped curators Diana Wechsler and Florencia Battiti to oversee the project, which eschewed the typical white cube for a public park. “We were discussing different lines of thought and of work, we started thinking about specific artists and, and specific projects of those artists as well,” said Battiti “We find with these artists these and with the interchange between us and between the artists and between the space two big axises, to install concepts in this space,” added Wechsler. “The main situation is the least disruptive situation to change the logic of the transit in this space, but this is the big umbrella.” The curators selected a diverse group of six artists —Graciela Hasper, Marie Orensanz, Pablo Reinoso, Marcela Sinclair, Agustina Woodgate, and Matías Duville—who ranged in age from a thirtysomething to an octogenarian. Each one contributed a public art work that collectors could purchase, and for nearly a week, the public could visit the park to interact with the works.  

Intemperie (Outdoor) by Graciela Hasper

Graciela Hasper created two sculptures that traced the outline of cubes through colors with which visitors could interact. “The idea was the cubes were kind of working together,” said the artist. “Depending on how you move you see the Rondinone [sculpture] there, or only the museum. It’s a work you can hug, you can step on it, you can sit and have a chat. This is expanded painting for me. I still paint, but I also do public works. For me, it’s best when the public interacts and it’s part of their daily life.”  

Invisible by Marie Orensanz

The 84-year-old Marie Orensanz, who is one of Argentina’s most famous artists, made a larger-than-life outdoor sculpture from corten steel in the shape of a keyhole with the word “Invisible.” “Sometimes what we see is not the reality,” said Orensanz, who selected the world “invisible” because it’s the same term in Spanish, English, and French, and the word “visible” is embedded in it. “There are a lot of double meanings here. We act as the key because we can go through and open or close it. In the word “invisible,” you see the negative and positive—seen and not seen.”

Still Tree by Pablo Reinoso

Pablo Reinoso created a sculpture of a tree, using the trunk of a real tree that died and replacing its branches with galvanized steel. “Here you have a piece of tree that dies—this tree collapsed very close to my studio,” said Reinoso. “And I took a piece and I put on the top of it, the idea of vegetable growing, because it died, I read put on him the idea of growing so it’s something about that. Also it’s about what is going on in nature today, that little by little, we are killing our ecosystems and the trees are going to die.”

Derrame (Spill) by Marcela Sinclair

Marcela Sinclair conceptualized an intervention with Ugo Rondinone’s Miami Mountain in Collins Park, surrounding the mammoth sculpture with two cubic yards of tiny rocks painted in the same color palette as the boulders in Miami Mountain, inviting the public to interact with the hundreds of rocks native to Miami that surrounded the sculpture. “In Buenos Aires, we are having so many manifestations,” she said. “People throw rocks and you can’t have them.” Her installation gave visitors a positive platform to play with rocks. “This piece has a lot of layers that are related to art history, the patriarchy, and the monument,” Sinclair continued. “It’s the public space and the political situation and how you you generate an ambience for people to be together and build things together or not.”

The Source by Agustina Woodgate

Agustina Woodgate looked at the city’s source of water, exposing the pipes from which it runs on purpose, for her water fountain sculptures that are made from oolite rocks and concrete. Visitors were invited to climb the steps on the sculptures and take a sip of water from the fountain. “Water comes from the Biscayne aquifer, and it goes back to the Biscayne aquifer, which is one of the biggest sources of fresh water in the country,” she explained. Woodgate used keystone, which is formed from fossils in the Florida Keys. “The reason why they water is so fresh here is because of the stone is the filter, but also the stone is what puts the city in danger because it is so porous. It will allow for sea water intrusion from underneath when the sea rises,” she explained.

Big Bang America by Matías Duville

For Big Bang America, Matías Duville created a sculpture comprised of two giant pipes emerging from a boulder that’s meant to act as a source of tension, in a V formation. One has a pine tree erupting from it, and the other, a palm tree, signaling the relationship between North America and the tropics. “When Art Basel invited me to be a part of this, I thought okay, I’m going to use a long pipe, because America is long,” said the artist. “I want to use distant plants, which are different, but in a way, from the same area. For me this bridge between reality and fantasy is important, it’s like a limbo. It’s impossible not to talk about nature because nature is in danger.” 



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