Cecilia Alemani Named Artistic Director of Art Basel Cities Buenos Aires as Details Are at Last Revealed

The initiative will follow a new, long-term collaborative model in an effort to bolster the city's cultural ecosystem.

Cecilia Alemani, artistic director of Art Basel Cities Buenos Aires. Photo: Marco De Scalzi.

Details about the first edition of the Art Basel Cities initiative, which will take place in Buenos Aires starting this fall, have finally been revealed. Chief among them is the appointment of the curator Cecilia Alemani as artistic director of the Art Basel Cities week of public programming that will take place in September 2018.

“I am thrilled to be part of Art Basel’s new initiative in Buenos Aires and I am very much looking forward to getting to know better the Argentinian art world,” Alemani said in a statement. “In the last few years in New York I had the honor of working with a number of great Argentinian artists, so I am excited to being able to contribute to this project which resonates both locally and internationally.”

As opposed to the “premier art fair” paradigm that Art Basel has honed since launching its flagship iteration in 1970, Art Basel Cities follows a new, long-term collaborative model, aiming to bolster the chosen city’s cultural ecosystem—benefitting artists, galleries, nonprofit spaces, and public institutions alike.

In Buenos Aires, the first city to take part in this new venture, the initial part of the long-term project is kicking off this fall. Called “Art Basel Cities Exchange,” it will focus on providing structural support to the local art community. Two of the practical strands announced today include the launch of international internship and residency programs, aimed at fostering international professional networks, as well as the implementation of crowdfunding campaigns to support local projects.

In the first week of November—to introduce the project to prospective cultural partners and the international art world—the organization will stage “Art Basel Cities House” in the Argentinian capital, hosting a series of events and workshops, as well as launching a year-long talk series.

Meanwhile, in September 2018, Art Basel Cities Buenos Aires will launch a week-long program of public art across the city, devised by Alemani, who is director and chief curator of New York’s High Line and curated the Italian Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale.

“The launching of these initiatives in the coming months marks the true beginning of our partnership with Buenos Aires. We are delighted that Cecilia Alemani will be the first curator of Art Basel Cities week, having followed her impressive work, especially in the public spaces, for many years,” Marc Spiegler, Art Basel’s global director, said in a statement.

Art Basel has also announced the creation of a new advisory board for the project, whose members include prominent figures like Ariel Aisiks, Pablo León de la Barra, Orly Benzacar, Ximena Caminos, Eduardo Costantini, Dani Levinas, Adriana Rosenberg, Juan and Patricia Vergez, and Diego Radivoy, general director of creative industries from the government of the City of Buenos Aires.

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