Post Number: 5
|Posted on Friday, December 02, 2005 - 8:34 am: |
Buenos Aires has always been a strong cultural pole within the concert of the Latin American nations. Setting trends and exploring the new as well as the avant-garde, Buenos Aires cultural groove has been –throughout its history- at the level of those within developed nations. In many other articles we’ve written about style, design, fashion and art, the Di Tella institute as a channel for the alternative artistic flow within 1960s pop art Buenos Aires. We also pointed out the fact that Argentina has not only explored the culture within the gray limit area –between vanguards and established- but also taken upon the early modernism challenge throughout the 19th century in the world of literature, architecture and philosophy.
In this occasion we feel it’s important to explore a specific kind of cultural manifestation, that of the bohemian off limits, street-like art. It has grown greatly during the last couple of years at the time it has become one true cultural attraction within the city. Puppeteers, painters, musicians, actors, clowns, mimes, poets, dancers, and all sorts of plastic artists fill the streets with art related significant performances that offer an alternative approach to the world of sensitivity and creativeness in post millennium Buenos Aires.
Indeed there’s a strong social, economical and political factor that pushes upon these street performances most of them excluded from the official, as well as the underground circuit.
From the deep economic and social crisis that hit our nation back in the late days of 2001 raising to the top the unemployment rate at the time the traditional income provider salaries and jobs became depressed, a new perspective emerged as many artists and bohemians -feeling their known world of social participation was collapsing- chose to follow their passion; and with the aid of their creativity and whit they began to develop alternative “jobs” where to combine their passion with the possibility of earning a living.
Buenos Aires public transport options: subway, train and busses became mobile theatres for flash shows –as long as it takes the subway to go from a stop to the other is a possible time gap measure that has led us to describe them as flash shows. Improvisations in the underground, folk and rock n’roll live music on the trains, pop music aboard a bus have become a new and interesting feel of what was until recently, a boring ride to or from work.
On the other hand, trademark streets and walks such as Florida and Plaza Dorrego have transformed into open air dance studios where tango shows take place daily and especially during the weekend.
While traffic lights and cross roads turn into momentary circuses for juggling acts, fire and acrobatics as well as clown quick shows that entertain the drivers.
Along with these fine arts public shows we can also point out an intensive growth of street art throughout the city’s walls. From traditional punk style graffiti’s to stencil art with deep social and political connotations, the walls of Buenos Aires have become a huge canvass for a large portion of society that in need of cultural expression chose to explore alternative elements and “show rooms”, addressing a new and little explored audience of the masses, those who never, or unusually frequent museums, show rooms, theatres and cultural environments of such style.
All and all, the borderline art in the Argentine society has also created its institutions and schools were to turn to for instruction, education, discussion and group work balance. One of the most interesting facets within this institutionalized world is the Mime School of Buenos Aires, located in San Telmo, as well as the ever growing clown schools. While these last institutions developed and grew in a gray area between the trendy underground alternative exercise world and the conceptual area of clown as a social manifestation; the first one was an avant-garde institution born in the early 1976 dictatorship years. Buenos Aires Mime School Parakultural grew to become a resistance environment to the censorship prevalent at the time against all cultural and social expressions. Today, over 26 years after the Mime School was born and under completely different situations we assist the birth of a broad and eclectic un-institutionalized public domain art trend in constant evolution. We should care upon a follow up regarding this post modern counter cultural trend in growth in our country.
 While official art scene work is mainly preserved for an exclusive line of recognized artists, the underground art world is no longer an alternative breakthrough stepping stone. For the trend and style of post modern world is to be off limits, the underground world has began to walk through a path of institutionalizing and new underground options are now being developed... street art being one of those stepping stones.
Post Number: 220
|Posted on Friday, December 02, 2005 - 10:13 am: |
Great post, Bob! I was wondering about you.
Destruction, then creation. The sunny side of our debacle... I've been watching those short tango shows myself in Florida and Cordoba Ave. -cross Galeria Pacifico- for the last 10 years. Self-expression can't be stopped, no? Since underground has a way of making it to mainstream -and losing its essence-, streets remain a valid venue of expressing oneself as much as any other one. The only sad note is that some of those artists are only 7 years old suffering famine. Still, it makes BA streets more colorful. And you are right, I would have never seen some 'performances' hadn't they been offered for free/tips right by the sidewalk.
I didn't know there were so many mime schools in BA.
Post Number: 3
|Posted on Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - 1:16 pm: |
Agree, interesting post!
Bob is a expert on Argentinian coastline Lighthouses too .
Post Number: 6
|Posted on Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - 1:46 pm: |
Lighthouses you say, here goes one on Martin Garcia...... Islands name Martin Garcia: a one of a kind getaway in between Argentina and Uruguay.
Some 30 minutes away from downtown Buenos Aires is Tigre, a riverside location home to great attractions such as beautiful fruit markets, handcrafts and all sorts of wooden furniture open air shops. Arriving to the Martin García Island can be done either by boat or by taxi plane. Unlike the other islands in the Argentinean delta -earthy sediments formations- the Martín García island is a volcanic formation and an emergence of the mass in Sierra de la Ventana. This has set the basis for an amazing combination of nature, birds, flowers, trees that make of this place a great option for all sorts of alternative tours, ecotourism, cultural and historical walks and of course a great option for those who want to take some time off the city's noise and clutterness. The historical background of this island is just amazing, all sorts of personalities -such as one of Argentina's most famous presidents Juan Domingo Perón, the famous Nicaraguan poet Ruben Darío, as well as the worldly known Dr. Maza who discovered the vaccine to “chagas” chose this beautiful place as their home. The old colonial constructions in the canter of the of this beautiful town blend together with other no less beautiful buildings that express the American and French aesthetical influence in those sensitive and delightful designs in a very art nouveau style. From the center of the island one can appreciate one of Sarmiento's hidden botanical skills, for he had his energy into politics during the late 80s of the nineteenth century, as we appreciate one beautiful poplar woods he himself planted.
Not far away we can see one of Buenos Aires famous lighthouses built in the late years of 1890. It has lightened this island's coasts for more than one hundred years. The building shows clean and strong lines, inside, a snail ladder leads us to the highest point of the island from were we can enjoy an amazing view.
In the area nearby the town's center, there's a place that has been christened "Barrio Chino". Many tourist guides have mistakenly regarded this place as a Chinatown. The reference is just an opposite, for during the seventeenth and eighteenth century sailors approached the island seeking some love to buy -prostitutes, to which they kindly referred as "chinas", which is a very common way to refer to women in the Argentinean pampas, not to the Asian women. It's a very interesting visit to do, especially for the deep cultural significance, the “chinas” getaway for local sailors at a paradise island. And of course, while touring around the island the Panaderia -the bakery- is a place no one should miss, for their sweet bread is outstandingly perfect (former president Carlos Menem used to fly in his private plane to the island specially to buy this bread, though some experts in politics assure this was just an excuse to meet up with some less respectful people of questionable moral) and for the great art nouveau architecture of the building that has remained intact.
All this makes of this island a great place to visit.
The Martin Garcia Island also takes advantage of its natural beauty and peaceful atmosphere with a simple accommodation option for those who wish to relax and enjoy some days of pampering in contact with nature. The only sleeping place is the Isla Martin Garcia Hostel, simple and comfortable; nothing better to go with this atmosphere than a good dish of heart made comfort food. This paradise location, just a few minutes away from the city.
Post Number: 6
|Posted on Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - 1:49 pm: |
Great post "Maverick" !!
|Posted on Monday, March 06, 2006 - 3:40 pm: |