albi@bsas flickr pool
dunno what borges would make of his beloved hometown these days, maybe instead of insides he would say zip-lock bags stuffed with leftover fat from liposuction. yes, buenos aires is grandeur faded and all that. it usually evokes images of an oldish-world, decadent modernist, steamy south-american take on paris. some would say that’s pushing it a bit. i would say it’s not pushing enough. buenos aires is more than tree-lined avenues and squeaky milongas and grade-a beef (cow and human alike). it’s a city that surely more than often borders on the grotesque, and still manages to keep its cool. like the good latinoamericana capital that it is, buenos aires has had plenty of chaos and shit in the past few years. but aside from la crisis (the 2000-2001 devaluation of the then-‘dollarized’ argentinian peso and subsequent economic stroke suffered after years of extreme neoliberalist policies), the porteño (that’s what people from buenos aires –it’s a port, you see- call themselves) habit of flaunting goes for the bad just as it does for the good. yes, buenos aires is borges, and bioy casares, and cortázar, and bife, and piazzolla and gardel but it’s also the boca, and the fat, coked-up maradona, and peronismo and ménem, and las gatitas de porcel (i used to watch the reruns late at night staying over at friends’ houses –it was totally forbidden for us when we were about 11 and it showed in mexico. more than the half-naked bunnies, i had a thing for the earth wind and fire theme song). buenos aires is class but it’s also quite trash. this city’s budding is miles away from that of bogotá, it’s not as overtly social conscious – i read somewhere that the current argentine brand of leftist politics could be termed leninist-narcissistic – on the contrary, it’s sometimes superficial and frivolous as sin. a different way of challenging hardship, i guess. like spitting on the wound instead of using antiseptic. or even better, having your incredibly gorgeous boyfriend or girlfriend lick it and then making out.
1. design boom : architecture is big, design is huge. from the annual design connection fair to the moma to fashion week, buenos aires has been on its way to becoming a true design epicenter for some years now. they might just have made it.
2. chic as shit : yes the girls, the boys, the eats, the clothes ... buenos aires oozes with beyond-standard coolness. but these days art is riding on top of the chic wave. and it's not bad, either.
galería braga mendez:
to be continued (hotels galore, sounds like tango, mellow modernists...)