Of Bridges & Borders – Phase IV

Of Bridges & Borders – Phase IV

Of Bridges & Borders, Phase IV - La Boca ferry bridge and la vuelta de Rocha, Buenos Aires

Opera – performance
“Lluvia de arañas sobre el Riachuelo” (Spider rain on the stream)

Museum Night, November 12, 2011, from dusk to dawn.

“Lluvia de arañas sobre el Riachuelo” was a multidisciplinary project, conceived and directed by the visual artist Sigismond de Vajay, which proposed a dialogue between visual art, the environment, sound, illumination and the public. This project seeked to generate a magical atmosphere that allowed a look to better understand what surrounds us, considering the recovery of the Riachuelo as an eco-sensitive environment.

Through the illumination, the surrounding of the vuelta de Rocha, the banks of the Riachuelo and the bridge itself were intervened to achieve a poetic and surreal ambiance.

“Lluvia de arañas sobre el Riachuelo” began with the sunset and continued until the rise of the super moon for about an hour, the lighting design carried out several actions that took place in the surroundings of the river. Simultaneously, three small boats distributed hundreds of candles on the water surface. From the imposing bridge hung 5 giant windchimes installed at various heights that the musicians of “Buenos Aires Sonora” performed from boats generating something similar to bell sounds mixed with recorded voices of migrants. Short after, from the top of the bridge structure, the chandeliers “spiders” were lit little by little and slowly came down to various heights. In addition, the public lighting of the riverbank, with red filters, was very well integrated into the general design creating a very peculiar ambiance to the surrounding.

Complementing the lighting design, the “Buenos Aires Sonora” collective, which works in the field of electro-acoustic music fused with advanced experimental music, after performing the wind chimes, began a choreography with ten musicians who climbed onto the giant structure of the bridge and positioned themselves at various points on the upper platform. From the live sound generated with the structure itself, the chimes, and percussions, which were processed with effects and electronic machines, the collective from Quilmes, created this striking innovative acoustic and visual performance that lasted about 40 minutes.

The second part of the night’s program continued with the intervention of two international musicians, important figures of the ambient electronic music scene, who performed for the first time in Argentina, “Biosphere” from Norway and “Scanner” from England. Each one performed from a floating platform, positioned in the middle of the river, creating a dialogue between electronic sounds, ambient, opera singer, jazz and classic sounds. Each concert lasted approximately one hour. 

The spectacle ended around midnight and was attended by 42,000 spectators. 

“Lluvia de arañas sobre el Riachuelo” is a special creation of KBB (Kültur BÜro Barcelona/Buenos Aires) for the Boca Bridge and its surroundings, within the Museums Night 2011 program. It was made possible thanks to the collaboration of Fundación x la Boca, the Government of the City, the PROA foundation, the Cultural Sponsorship Program consolidated with the support of Philips, and with the kind support of several antique dealers and chandeliers manufacturers from the city of Buenos Aires who kindly made their chandeliers available for this project.

The project was carried out in collaboration with Cuerda producciones and the general direction of Museums, the Government of the City, Toit du Monde Association, Buenos Aires Sonora, with the endorsement and support of Vialidad Nacional, Acumar, the Prefecture, the General Administration of Ports, and the Fire Department of La Boca.

Administrative coordination: Luciana Salva
Visual documentation: Ezequiel Hilbert
Technical coordination: Cuerdas Producción and Marc Schmidt

About “Of Bridges & Borders”
Of Bridges & Borders is a cross-border multidisciplinary cultural project. Like certain plays and films, its origin lies in a book that was produced and published in October 2009.

In that publication, visual artists, musicians, architects and thinkers from seventeen countries presented a wide range of positions and artistic visions.

In 2011 in Buenos Aires, Of Bridges & Borders entailed a series of exhibitions, urban interventions, concerts and lectures whose formats range from installations, video art, film, architecture, music and performances. The underlying interest is to provoke new forms of reading through proximity, difference, comparison and contradiction in the cultural sphere.

Phase II “Beautiful Bridge, # 1” was a colorful and geometrical painted intervention by the Swiss artists Lang/Baumann that took place under the pedestrian bridge of the faculty of located on Figueroa Alcorta Avenue. A public art piece that remained and later became emblematic for the city.

Phase III “Fronteras en Mutación” took place at the CCEBA (Spanish Cultural Center) in its San Telmo neighborhood (former Padelai) and Paraná street headquarters, with an international exhibition that brought together a selection of 16 outstanding national and international artists who created site specific projects.

These artists from different backgrounds and generations employed an array of vocabularies in their varied visions of globalization, an issue that has become increasingly important in recent years.

This third phase of the project focused on the morphology of borders, not only from a geographical perspective, but also from a poetic and aesthetic point of view. It attempts to offer the public the experience of a ceaselessly connected world, where borders have become both virtual and political, invisible but latent.

Phase IV “Lluvia de arañas sobre el Riachuelo” a strong visual open-air opera which took place on and around the Boca bridge for the Night of the Museums, with the participation of three groups of musicians from different backgrounds, mixing opera, electronics, jazz, minimal and experimental music.

Phase V presented “From Real to Surreal” at the Museum of Modern Art of the City of Buenos Aires (MAMBA) where works by the English, Lliam Gillick, the Belgian, Hans Op de Beeck, the Chinese, Yung Shun and the German, Carsten Nicolai, were installed, specially designed for the exhibition room.