MATE and MALBA

What were we looking for? Art that inspired or educated or was just so beautiful we’d not easily forget it. We expected we might find what we were looking for at MATE Museo Mario Testino in Barranco (Lima), Peru.

The special exhibit featured the work of the African photographer, Hamidou Maiga. The image on the wall was his first studio in Bamako, Mali in 1973.

The special exhibit featured the work of the African photographer, Hamidou Maiga. The image on the wall was his first studio in Bamako, Mali in 1973.

Maiga’s portraits were black and white. People came to his studio, dressed to have their photos taken.

Maiga’s portraits were black and white. People came to his studio, dressed to have their photos taken.

What a contrast to the work of the Peruvian photographer, Mario Testino! Bold celebrities and fashion models are what made his photography famous – The Rolling Stones, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell.

We thought Testino’s most stunning works in the museum were of the Peruvian women in traditional clothing.

We thought Testino’s most stunning works in the museum were of the Peruvian women in traditional clothing.

Fast forward 10 days and many miles from Lima, Peru to Buenos Aires, Argentina. We went to see art at MALBA, the Museo de Arte Latinoamericana de Buenos Aires. Unfortunately, their permanent collection gallery was closed for renovation, but two floors with special exhibits were open.

We couldn’t believe we’d come all the way from the US to Argentina only to be presented with Yoko Ono’s Dream Come True exhibit.

We couldn’t believe we’d come all the way from the US to Argentina only to be presented with Yoko Ono’s Dream Come True exhibit.

Yoko Ono’s peace sign was above us as long streams of redacted papers flowed from the top of the building down three levels.

Yoko Ono’s peace sign was above us as long streams of redacted papers flowed from the top of the building down three levels.

When we got to the lower level we headed over to see what the papers said..and what was blacked out. One we read (photo above) starts out “White House Wash DC…Subject: Military coup plotting for morning of 11 Sep 73…Santiago….”

When we got to the lower level we headed over to see what the papers said..and what was blacked out. One we read (photo above) starts out “White House Wash DC…Subject: Military coup plotting for morning of 11 Sep 73…Santiago….”

This memo referred to the events surrounding the coup in Chile, when “on 11 September 1973, the military moved to oust Allende in a coup d’état sponsored by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).” (Wikipedia) We continued to read on: “At approximately 0500 hrs local on the morning all communications media will be taken over…Additionally, all electric power sources….and critical social services will be seized. This will be a total effort for the armed forces to force a military coup to oust Pres Allende….”

The redacted papers were part of a fascinating exhibit of the work of a Chilean artist, Voluspa Jarpa, who uses archival material as an art form for understanding reality particularly for Latin American countries from 1948-1994.

The art we saw at each museum was oppositional. At MATE, Maiga’s small black and white studies of unadorned people in one room contrasted with Testino’s bold, large portraits of Peruvian fashion in another room. MALBA offered Ono’s heartfelt “imagine peace” message on one floor in opposition to Jarpa’s earth-shattering reality of peace and war on another floor. We had certainly found what we were looking for at MATE and MALBA.

 

August 2016

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
This entry was posted in Peru, South America - 2016 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to MATE and MALBA

  1. EurekaBits says:

    I absolutely loved the Peruvian woman portrait!

  2. How interesting to see these opposing exhibitions and be able to compare the works.

  3. leggypeggy says:

    Love Maiga’s portraits. Wow!

Tell us what you think, please.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s