Housed in what was previously the engine room of the ‘Molinos Rio de la Plata’ wheat mill, Faena Art Centre is the latest addition to the Faena Hotel and Universe. The building respects its past; maintaining the original large windows, arches and early 20th century architectural details.
The centre opened on the first day of spring, 21st September of this year. Amalia Botto, a representative of Faena Art Centre, tells us it had only been a matter of time until the vision for Faena Art Centre was realised. “The hotel opened six years ago, and there had always been plans to create something different in the area.”
“We want to plan new art proposals in Buenos Aires, to give people something different. Buenos Aires is a very arty city; there are a lot of art institutions, like MALBA for example, but the point of this space is to bring something original,” she says.
Although exhibitions are held in Faena’s hotel facilities, they are expensive and therefore not accessible to all. The Faena Art Centre is intended to be for everyone. “The idea is to bring everyone closer to art and bring families to art.” Combining the old with the new, their goal is to “provide a space for the most advanced expressions of contemporary art”.
In his first major exhibition in Argentina, Ernesto brings the vibrant colours of Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires’ port district.
The interactive sculpture plays with the height of the space, manipulating the walls to fit around it as though it were always supposed to be there. As brutal as it is beautiful, it’s one of a kind.
“I like to create a fantasy environment in a way, potentially a place you can breathe, find some minutes for yourself, be with yourself, even with others,” Ernesto says of his work. “I am trying to give time back to people, to create places where people can find solutions inside themselves.”
This inaugural exhibition, curated by Jessica Morgan of London’s Tate Modern museum, “promises to bring together Ernesto’s key interests within the striking space of an old mill, enlivening the space with sound, colour, spatial and sensory experiences, as well as the artist’s exquisitely beautiful forms”.
And it does just that. Laughter, chatter and screams reverberate from the walls as colour and dimensions envelope the spectators.
Children and adults alike enjoy the strange display. “This exhibition is for everyone,” Amalia says. The only ones excluded are really young children, as it can get a little dangerous with all the climbing.
It took several months to assemble the sculpture in a workshop in Rio de Janiero, which was later transported to Argentina.
Below the existing exhibition is a further 650m² of available space, and it’s yet to be decided what to fill it with. The proposals are presently top secret, as are the plans for the next exhibition. But considering the Faena Art Centre’s bold entrance into the art district, it will probably be nothing short of a surprise.
Attracting over 2000 visitors at weekends, the centre has been a huge success. So much so, that Ernesto’s exhibition will be extended from its previous November closing-date to some point in February. But it does get busy, so for less of a squeeze, plan to visit midweek.