Nushi Muntaabski and Paula Rivas – Romantics

Buenos Aires, February 2005.

Cultural enthusiasm does not stop even in summer. Several artistic activities crossed the river and set foot in the exclusive seaside resort of Punta del Este, Uruguay. Laura Batkis couldn’t avoid telling La Mano about Este’s art scene, and in between swimming in the sea and walking along the beach, she sent us this article.

The intention this summer was to rest for a few weeks and not hear the word “art” for a while. I came to Punta del Este, stuffed with fiction books, mate, cd’s and with the full conviction of not doing anything at all. But those of us who suffer from the aesthetic condition that consists in watching the sunset and thinking about how nature imitates Monet, cannot let an exhibition that interests us go by without commenting on it, and much less without going to see it. That happened to me when I learned that Nushi Muntaabski was having an exhibition in the area. Her show is part of the Gallery Nights event, a gallery tour organized by Arte al Día every Friday of January. There are 26 art galleries located in the area of La Barra and Manantiales that open every Friday starting at 8 pm, allowing the public to freely visit the galleries, the back room and meet the artists. Gastón Deleau is responsible for implementing this approach, first in Buenos Aires, and now in summer destinations. He brought a similar project that works in Miami, in addition to organizing the Art Week in September and taking these events to other places of the Argentine coast, such as Cariló, where the third week of January was also part of the art itinerary. Among all the galleries, Sur stands out, which has an almost museum-like setting with works by Torres García and Figari. On the other hand, and for a more massive public, the Trench gallery has a varied and eclectic offer, and does not stop selling every Monday it opens an exhibition. So who buys art here? Argentineans, but above all North Americans, Brazilians, Swiss, Germans and all the tourists who, with the Tsunami effect, started to hang around these shores. The gallery Ruta 10 Arte Contemporáneo is having 2 remarkable shows curated by Graciela Taquini. In the video installation by Nushi Muntaabski (1963), the artist films a scene from El Beso (The Kiss), a theatrical piece she created during her time at the Taller de Experimentación Escénica, with a scholarship from the Fundación Antorchas. With a fantasy atmosphere evocative of The Wizard of Oz, the play recreates a Polish legend from her personal history, the moment when her parents (from Hungary and Poland) meet in a snowy Central European forest and seal the beginning of their romance with a long kiss. The exhibition is completed with branches covered with blue glass tiles and photographs. Paula Rivas (1976) exhibits marble sculptures with the imprint of skies of different parts of the world. Her celestial maps, with the southern cross of the southern hemisphere and the star signs of other places are all from the same day and the same time. It is strange to think that Giotto’s blue was taken from some sky as well as Yves Klein’s ultramarine blue, the Blue of Rubén Darío, the blue note of jazz, or even the color of lovers who swear eternal love to each other under the moonlight. These signs guide the paths but do not mark places because the map is not the territory and the place of memory is only an instant of fleeting splendor.

Romantic. So are these artists and so is this exhibition, the story of a story with a happy ending, where it is said that finding love for life is possible.