Buenos Aires, Argentina

March 3, 2015
1

In your city, how can we tell that it's 2015?

One of the greatest things about Buenos Aires is its very clear skies. The city reminds us of our temporality at almost all times, displaying the movements of the sun, the moon, and the stars.

View from the artist's window View from the artist's window
2

Which building or intersection in the city would make us think we’re in the future?

The exit doors at the bus terminal in Retiro.

3

What reminds you of the past in your city?

Crossing the old railroad tracks on Directorio Avenue—now buried in new pavement—on my bike.

4

Which part of the city would be the best place to lose track of time, stop time or gain time?

Buenos Aires is a city that was designed from its inception. The urban plan is shaped like a grid, and blocks are almost all perfectly square and equal to each other (100 square meters). But in the middle of the grid there is a neighborhood that interrupts the general shape of the city. This is a neighborhood organized through neat, concentric circular streets, named Parque Chas. Accustomed to the right angles and regular distances between streets, Parque Chas works like a maze even for the locals. A good way to lose track of, gain, or freeze time, then, would be walking clockwise around Parque Chas for an hour.

Map of Parque Chas Map of Parque Chas
5

What song or local band do you recommend for the daily playlist?

Lucas Martí songs.

6

What museum or cultural space is generally omitted from the typical cultural tour, but is definitely worth visiting?

Go listen to Mono Fontana, wherever he is playing. Mono Fontana was my first teacher when I was a teenager. At the time I thought I was going to spend my life playing the piano and I wanted to study with the best teachers. He taught me many things, but the most important was that he taught me to listen. Mono Fontana rarely travels, so it is almost impossible to hear him outside this country (or even outside Buenos Aires). His music is truly unclassifiable, and being so tied to this city I always leave his concerts thinking about Buenos Aires.

7

What bookstore has new or secondhand publications on art history, exhibition catalogs, or artist monographs?

Big Sur in San Telmo.

8

What is a typical, local meal and where would you have it?

A morcipán in Tranquerita: Franklin and Boyacá.

9

Where can you find the best coffee or tea?

I don’t drink coffee but I love coffee shops in Buenos Aires; they are a real postcard of this city. One of my favorites is Café las Violetas in the neighborhood of Caballito.

Las Violetas Las Violetas
10

What monument reveals a hidden past?

The debris on the shore of the ecological reserve.

11

Outdoor or public artwork worth visiting:

The most important thing to do is to see the jacaranda trees bloom in November.

12

Where is the best place to watch the sunset in your city?

Around the Faculty of Medicine on Córdoba Avenue the sun sets in perfect alignment with the direction of the cars, shedding light over all of them.

13

Next Sunday, let’s meet at:

El Tigre

14

Which book transports me to your city?

Mariano Blatt's Papelitos de locura.

15

What aspect of your city most inspires you?

My friends.

16

Where would one probably get lost: geographically, emotionally or historically speaking?

The district of Liniers is located on the west end of the city, where there is a large market. In the early twentieth century, along with the development of the railways, many homes were built for the workers to live with their families. These cottages were all built following the same Dutch style design; this is why it was renamed "las mil casitas” (the thousand little houses). Today, Liniers’ mil casitas are still there but they now have some details that differentiate them from each other: the color, carpentry replacements, roofing. I like to think that here one can get a bit lost, trying to remember these small details that guide us through its homogeneity.

17

If you were commissioned to create a work of art “about” this city, briefly describe what your proposal would be.

I think it would be good to do something with the ASPEN (FM 102.3) radio. ASPEN is a radio station that airs national and international classic rock (mainly music from the 70s and 80s). It is also, in my opinion, the most consistent of all radio stations for having held such clear programing for so many years. It is also the taxi drivers’ station par excellence, which stains the entire city in a very particular nostalgia. I do not know yet what I would do with that but if I were commissioned with a new project I would try to develop something with this iconic radio station.