Uruguay’s first permanent museum of contemporary art opens – ARTnews.com

The Uruguayan seaside town of Punta del Este on January 8 opened the country’s first major contemporary art museum, the Atchugarry Contemporary Art Museum (MACA), with an inaugural gala celebrating its first exhibitions of works by Christo and Jeanne-Claude and the Argentinian artist Léon Ferrari.

Spread over a 90-acre landscape with rolling hills, woodlands, and water features, the museum will not only be a beacon for modern art, but will also host a new artistic film festival, ARCA Intl. Film Festival, whose inaugural edition will take place from January 9 to 14. The project was created by sculptor Pablo Atchugarry and is the latest in a sequence of structures built by the Fundación Pablo Atchugarry.

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“There is a common concern between artists and collectors, which consists in reflecting on the destination of their works, the fruit of a lifetime, of the passion that has always accompanied them. So, a few years ago, the idea of ​​building a museum was born, right here at the Pablo Atchugarry Foundation, which is in a way the cultural heritage that I am leaving in Uruguay, ”said Atchugarry. Variety.

“I believe that the MACA will belong to humanity and that, like a ship loaded with art, life and dreams, it will lead us to a world of greater understanding and love,” he added. .

Architect Carlos Ott designed the buildings which include five exhibition halls and an outdoor sculpture section with 70 pieces by renowned international artists. In addition to a gift shop and cafeteria, the space also includes a theater, auditorium and a large outdoor terrace for ARCA screenings.

Leonardo Noguéz will be the museum’s first director with writer and businessman Roberto Vivo as chairman of its board. MACA’s advisory board is made up of Jorge Helft, Angel Kalenberg, Renos Xippas, Emma Sanguinetti and Piero Atchugarry.

Created to celebrate all forms of contemporary art, the relationship between MACA and ARCA is vital and begins the day after the museum’s inauguration with the first edition of the fledgling festival.

Talk with Variety, ARCA Director Mercedes Sader explained that the festival, like the museum, will be fully modern, but also indicated that older films on contemporary art may one day find their place in the selection as the Museum exhibits and the festival program are meant to be closely linked.

“The films selected for the main section had to be recent, so this time around we only included films from the past two years,” she said. “It is possible that in future editions we will add a section for the classics, but they will be films related to the art of the last half century and will often include films that Uruguayans may have heard of, but no ‘have never had the opportunity to see in person.

“The main idea is to develop the collaboration with the museum and to make it resonate with visitors so that it can develop in the future,” she added.

Just as the MACA was built to attract the constant flow of international visitors to Punta del Este, the festival has also scheduled its selection.

“Everything is very international, the museum opens with two major exhibitions where neither is Uruguayan, although there is a permanent collection with a lot of works by Uruguayan artists since 1950”, Sader explained. “For us, it is important that the museum and the festival have this international appeal. The festival is a time and place where people come from all over the world, and we want to recognize that. “

To this end, ARCA has hired programmer Sergio Fant, who is part of the Berlin selection committee and has programmed in the past at festivals such as Venice, Helsinki Documentary and Trento, among others.

According to Sader, Fant’s involvement is important for two main reasons: “Because he knows the Uruguayan producers and to bring films to Uruguay that otherwise would never appear in theaters. “

This story first appeared on variety.com, which includes additional information on the contemporary art museum.

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Reggie S. Williams