Tinytour: Museo de Arquitectura y Diseño [Museum of Architecture and Design]

The MARQ is a small building that seems to be used primarily as temporary show space.  It’s the only architecture museum in the country.  The building dates from 1915 and used to be the water tower for the Retiro train station.  It is currently one of the sites of a BIENALSUR contemporary art installation called “House Attack.”

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The MARQ building, having a normal one.

The exhibition, called Invading/Resisting, is also tied to BIENALSUR.  It’s a multimedia collaborative work on the interplay of the actions of humans and the natural world.

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ATMOSPHERE.
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This is a Tinytour because it’s a wee space!  You’ll just have to see what’s showing when you’re looking to go.

The MARQ is open Tuesday through Sunday from 1pm to 8pm.  It’s located near Retiro train station.  Admission is free and they have a tiny swag store, and I honestly respect the hustle.

Tinytour: Archivo General de la Nación: Huellas de Mujeres Trabajadoras

Popped into the National Archive for the small, temporary exhibit on women workers!  Not super sure on the best translation.  Let’s go with “Impressions of Working Women.”

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That guy’s got nothing to do with anything; it’s just the best photo I got of the door.

There’s an exhibit room just inside the Archive, where visitors don’t have to go through security.  It’s pretty small, but a nice place for a curated show of documents.

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Including not happy documents, like this 1942 petition to a charity for assistance from a nurse who contracted tuberculosis in the course of her work.

Plenty of great old photos, which, of course.  It’s the Archive.

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From the School of Nursing affiliated with the Eva Perón Social Help Foundation in 1947.

Actually, though, know what was most impressive?  The freaking exhibit room.

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That’s all for this minipost!  If you’re in Microcentro taking in the government-affiliated tourist sights, you’ll be close to the Archivo General de la Nación.  Pop in for a few minutes to see whatever historic documents they have out for eyeballing and the amazing exhibit room at 25 de mayo 263, weekdays from 10 to 5.

Biblioteca Nacional Mariano Moreno de la República Argentina [Mariano Moreno National Library of the Argentine Republic]

The National Library!

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Sometimes the beauty of a library is in the idea, and not the stupid brutalist architecture.

Established in 1810, the library inaugurated its current building in 1992, thirty years after it was first designed (because Argentina).  There are a few things associated with the National Library that I will be including here, such as the Museo del Libro y de la Lengua, which is actually more of a small space for temporary exhibitions and events–not quite enough to do a whole post on.

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“…because the library is yours.”  Hell. Yes.

Currently, there’s a couple of exhibits up, one of which is on scientist, novelist, and impressive prizewinner Ernesto Sabato.  You might remember him from a really life-affirming subway display I found awhile back.

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“God exists, but sometimes dreams: his nightmares are our existence.”

The upstairs currently houses a show on Sara Gallardo.

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Like I said, not a whole lot to the museum itself, but as it’s at the back of the library complex, it can easily included in a visit to the whole shebang.

There’s some remodeling happening on the grounds of the library, but there is one small open building that houses the showroom of the Centro de Historieta y Humor Gráfico Argentinos (Argentine Comic and Graphic Humor Center).

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At the moment, the building is dedicated to the 90th anniversary of Patoruzú, who looks VERY QUESTIONABLE to me but is still an icon here, and widely considered Argentina’s first super hero (he’s got super strength and he’s also rich, which is Batman’s sole power, so Patoruzú already has one up on that guy).

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The main library building also has its own exhibit space.  You need an ID to go in, a fact that has stuck in my mind since the library played a small part in the story of a man who walked from Canada to Buenos Aires with the aim of visiting the library, only to be turned away because he didn’t have ID.

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Pictured: Most secure border in the Western hemisphere.

Right now, there’s an exhibit on the books of Arthur Conan Doyle.  It’s pretty fun.

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Sherlock Holmes fan fic has been a hugely profitable genre in its own right, and I especially enjoyed the inclusion of “Cat Holmes.”

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The Lost World room! Argentina is rich in dinosaur fossils, and that there is native son Bajadasaurus pronuspinax.
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Yeah, they even got the fairy stuff.
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Interview with the man himself in the spiritualism room.

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I can absolutely feel the librarian’s giddy enthusiasm for being able to create this room.

If I don’t get a haunted mirror for Christmas this year, why do I even have a family.

There were a few of these pictures that were activated when you walked close to them.  This whole thing was neat.

At the back of the library’s complex, near the Museo del Libro y de la Lengua, is an adorable little shop.

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ADORKABLE

It’s the National Library’s bookstore for its publications, where you can also get sweet library merch, like a coffee mug or poster.  There’s also this TINY BOOK VENDING MACHINE SO BRING 20 PESOS IN COINS OK?

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Objects in photo less blurry than they appear

So if libraries are a thing for you (as they are for all quality people), you can roll a visit to the National Library into your Recoleta meanderings, as it’s a couple of blocks from the Recoleta Cemetery, the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, and the Las Heras subway stop on the H line.  There’s a cafe of the basic snack and coffee sort on the first floor of the main library building (second floor by US reckoning), but obviously plenty of other places are around.  Check the website for the hours of all the various elements mentioned here.

MUNTREF Centro de Arte y Naturaleza [MUNTREF Center of Art and Nature]

I am still recovering from a “flu-like” virus, which wasn’t too bothersome as I mainly slept for three days, but I managed to make a quick visit to the Centro de Arte y Naturaleza (part of the Museums of the National University of Tres de Febrero, which also includes the Museo de la Inmigración).  It’s in a really lovely building on the perimeter of the old Buenos Aires Zoo, which was chiefly built around the turn of the 20th century and as such is a fascinating example of old zoo architecture but was closed down for being a cruelly terrible zoo.

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In 2016.

Despite being technically within the limited-capacity (now called) Buenos Aires Eco-Park, a transformation that has not been going well, incidentally, the Centro is accessible from the outside, although you can peek out the back windows and see the maras wandering around the grounds:

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The maras are large Patagonian rodents that were always allowed to range freely within the zoo.

The Centro itself faces the large and busy Av. Sarmiento:

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You cannot move in.

It’s quite small and doesn’t take much time to visit–but it is free, has a helpful staff, changes exhibits entirely every few months, and is right within a nexus of other attractions, making it an easy addition to any plans that include La Rural or the Botanical Gardens, or any other of the numerous museums and gardens within walking distance.

Two artists are currently featured.  The first floor holds Zoología Fantástica, by Argentine biologist and artist Pablo La Padula.  From the description on the MUNTREF website: “…it invites us to re-read the historical-cultural markers that reside in scientific devices and their interpretations, as well as in the decisions that are made for scientific dissemination, and the forms that these constructions assume in the social imagination. The materials that are used, the assembly, the lighting and the organization system, come together to place the spectator in the place of the scientist.”

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Man, remember the ear mouse?

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The upstairs houses a show by Peruvian artist Claudia Coca called “Do Not Tell Me I Do Not Know How to Catch the Wind.”  It examines the city’s life forms and their interaction, and includes embroidered verses.

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“Who is the one that, like the tiger, rides the wind with a ghostly body?”

If you’re already in the area, and if you spend much time in Buenos Aires at all you eventually will be, pop into the Centro and see what they have showing.  It’s free and open Wednesday to Sunday from 2pm to 7pm.  I really hope they put whale kid on a postcard.

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J. M. W. Turner. Acuarelas de la Tate Collection [J. M. W. Turner. Watercolours from the Tate Collection]: Special Exhibition of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes

The Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes is, obviously, the big cheese of Argentine art museums.  Naturally, I’m a fan.

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Absolute unit of a museum

As you’d expect, it hosts some pretty impressive temporary shows.  Currently, there’s one I was not going to miss.

From my scant education in art history, I picked up a couple of things about J. M. W. Turner:  I love him, and he used very, very long titles.  Also that he was very prolific.  Ok, so three things.

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Curators need something snappy, however

Eighty-five watercolors from the span of Turner’s career make up the show.  They do not disappoint.

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Durham Cathedral: The Interior, Looking East along the South Aisle, 1797-8
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An Old Woman in a Cottage Kitchen (“Internal of a Cottage, a Study at Ely”), 1795-6  see I was not even kidding about the titles

These two are from earlier on in his life, and you can read details about the paintings written by people more knowledgeable than I at the links, which go to the Tate’s website.

For my part, I enjoy looking at Turners from different distances.  Here is The Destruction of the Bards by Edward I (c. 1799-1800).  It’s a wild, beautiful landscape.  Maybe you’re wondering where the slaughter of the bards is going on though.

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Squint
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Wait, is that a wall or sheep or what
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Oh there’s the mass execution.

The landscapes (and seascapes) are my favorites, with the expressive colors and elusive atmosphere.  I feel like I’m clearly looking at a scene, without being able to pinpoint what I’m looking at.  Does that make sense?  I feel like it doesn’t, but it’s the best I can do.

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The Vision of Columbus, for Rogers’s ‘Poems’“, c. 1830-2
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“Sea and Sky” c. 1845, one of many many many many “Sea and Sky”s from his late period, when his style took on a light touch, fluidity of color, and lack of detail, and he couldn’t be fussed with titles anymore.

Moving through his career and life in the form of his watercolors is a fine way to spend an afternoon.  The explanatory signage is in both Spanish and English.  The ticket into the show is AR$100, but it is free on Tuesdays and the rest of the week after 645pm (the museum is closed Mondays).  The temporary exhibition pavilion is rather tucked away, so hold on to your ticket and follow your map, as the path isn’t obvious.  As a major museum, swag is of course available, although Turner-specific swag has just two images to choose from.  The exhibition closes February 17, 2019.

The Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes is easy to reach via the Facultad de Derecho station of the D line of the subway and sits between three major avenues in Recoleta.  Can’t miss it.

 

 

Carne [Beef]: Special exposition of the Museo de la Ciudad

Serendipity. That happiest of things. That great gift.

I was walking down Defensa after class.

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…seemed awfully big and fancy for a carniceria.

Ah–oh!

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This is not the main location of the Museo de la Ciudad, but the Casa Altos de Elorriaga location, which is currently, magnificently, and tragically temporarily, a museum to Argentine beef.

So what will you find in a glorious exposition dedicated to meat, that most Argentine of culinary indulgences?

HISTORY!

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A TIMELINE OF BEEF: The first cows arrive in 1549!
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2002: The first Argentine cloned calf is born!
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2008: Political machinations affect beef!

HISTORICAL ARTIFACTS!

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Including racist marketing!

But that is absolutely not all. No indeed. Got something meat-related in mind? NAME IT, SON.

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BOOKS ON BEEF PRODUCTION
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GET EDUCATED IN ARGENTINE CUTS
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WEIRD OLD CARTOONS

Have you ever wondered if the Argentine relationship with beef can be statistically quantified? WONDER NO LONGER.

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The only nation that consumes more beef per person than Argentina is Uruguay. BARELY.

So what do Argentines use all that meat for? The interior patio holds the answers you seek, friend.

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Beef is often located in guiso (stew), milanesa, and empanadas.
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Beef is also featured in an asado, which is an Argentine barbeque.
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Beef can be found in street food. You can tell this cart is another historical artifact because today, 18 pesos will buy you literally nothing.

Are you more interested in “how the sausage is made,” so to speak? It looks something like this:

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Moo.
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The “dirty zone” is where steak is born.
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Someone made a tiny side of beef for this display.

So, meat plays a pretty big role in Argentine culture. But what about Argentine pop culture? Has there ever been a famous sexploitation film in which meat featured heavily alongside a celebrated bombshell and a future father of an Oscar-winning writer?

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I mean, why are you even asking?

But maybe your cultural tastes are more highbrow. You appreciate fine art. Painting, sculpture. These media speak to you and inform your experiences. You enjoy seeing beauty rendered immortal by the hand of a master.

You will find your treasure here, too.

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MEAT PAINTING.
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MEAT AS A CONTEMPORARY SCULPTURE
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LOOK AT ALL THIS MEAT ART, BUDDY.

All in all, “Carne” is a masterpiece. Obviously. It might be that someone in a position to affect these sorts of things noticed that it is the 50th anniversary of the film “Carne” and just ran with it. If that’s the case, this exhibition is even more superb. It’s open to the public, it’s free, there are promotional postcards–but it closes down on September 30th, so you only have a month to experience “Carne.”

Espacio Fundación Telefónica: Houdini. Las Leyes del Asombro [Telefónica Foundation Center: Houdini, Laws of Astonishment]

The Espacio Fundación Telefónica is the community cultural center for a multinational communications company, Telefónica.  It hosts workshops and small but nicely curated exhibits, such as this Houdini one, which recently finished its run.  It only took about 45 minutes to see everything, and while it was light on Houdini-related artifacts, it did have some pretty cool vintage magic and illusion objects, as well as a good layout and use of its small space.  Houdini’s biography was presented and given some contemporary context, and the signs were in both Spanish and English.  It was free, fun, and interesting.  Here’s my photos.  Sorry this is so short, but I need a nap.

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