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I am in my hometown Buenos Aires and decided to join my friend Soledad on her visit to the Museum of Modern Art. Elegantly dressed with an Anne Fontaine shirt and dark riding trousers, she picked me up from my flat downtown BA in order to go to San Telmo, the rather detached neighbourhood in the southernmost fringes of the city. The show we were going to see is called ‘The Circle Walks Casually: the Deutsche Bank Collection in Dialogue With Works from the Museum of Modern Art BA’ and it takes place in the basement of the newly refurbished museum designed by Argentine architect Emilio Ambasz.

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The first problem that this show presents is its title which unwillingly refers to that conflation of works and hanging which seems to be the show’s leitmotiv. One could say that the circle does not walk casually but automatically. That is why it is a circle and not a poem. There is something feng shui-like in the way the show is curated and arranged. The truth is that the circle does not wander but the visitor. But the problem is that the visitor is not free to wander around but must follow an winding ovoid arrangement that structures his walk and constrains his freedom. This is a very good allegory of the Deutsche Bank ethos because even though one might think that one is free to chose where to go, the truth is the contrary.  

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Victoria Noorthoorn, the curator and museum director fails to deliver a hanging that entices the viewer to actually see the works which are from top names such as Jonathan Monk, Mondrian, Malevich and Karen Walker and rather mediocre Argentine names (from the museum collection) such as Marina de Caro. The result is decorative and certainly, irrelevant. I challenge anyone to remember one single piece two hours after visiting this show. J A T from Buenos Aires.

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