The Open Forum section –sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of the City Government- is a venue where leading international figures in the art world come together to enrich debates on contemporary art. It is open to the public free of charge and with an independent entrance.

2017 Curatorial Text

Alternatives to the future

Approaches to different ways of thinking and acting in the contemporary scene

It is not easy to think of the future in a way that separates abysmally from a conservative or reactionary statement to itself. For this reason, rather than yearning or wishing it, we have tried to propose a sort of rebuke, to approach it with questions that make us think more directly in the present continuous that we are building. My proposal in response to arteBA’s invitation to organize Prime Time is precisely that: to raise questions by proposing the idea of the future as the key issue.

In this sense, the proposal is to approach the future seeing it as a trigger of thinking about the different aspects of the current reality which is projected as a continuous present encouraging us to stop and observe our surrounding reality. The way to question this issue will be through the form and action, both theoretical and practical, in art and in other disciplines ranging from philosophy to epigenetics, from urbanism / architecture to biology, from politics to writing.

Teamwork was part of the dynamics of collaboration and communication developed at each table, where some of the invited speakers will act as co-directors. Together with the curator and editor Octavio Zaya, the artist Julieta Aranda and the architect Alejandro Zaera-Polo I have organized each of the panels by deepening in specific aspects of their work and backgrounds, enhancing the artistic, scientific and architectural contents in addition to their views and by the selection different participants.
Speaking from our practice, whether artistic, conceptual or of management, implies a strong social and political commitment in the way we structure our positions in respect of the environment. For this reason, I have considered it convenient that each of the tables does not refer to an artistic field of the contemporary art and its institutions, per se, but to such ideas and ways of approaching the art to the institutional mechanisms from a much more open dimension.
The first table deals with the world of ideas and the relationships as a knot from which we place ourselves politically within thought and within the communal forms of relationship. In this way we will inquire about the issues spoken and who have dealt with them in the last years of such future that stalks us, and on the other hand, how the strategies on the notion of the commons appear in both political and artistic processes.
The second table invites us to think as a community and as individuals, how we want our cities, the habitat, and the ways of using that common space. In this sense, architecture and urbanism have a fundamental role in questioning notions and forms that no longer fit our ways of life of another time. The work of the contemporary architect who looks for new tools and thinks about the relationships of people with the context, proposes new approaches that derive from a social position as architect of human sensations and capacities, feelings and affections and new ways of relationships.
The third table looks towards the scene of an impossible future, which is becoming more real given that we are living it and putting it into practice thanks to science and technology. The new developments reflect on the future of our society and our environment determining new ways of creating scientific, aesthetic and thinking tools. A manageable or desirable future where we can decide if we want to live it and the way to do it controlling our bodies and the new media.
All this means that we are trying to deepen the futures that await us since such as Time or History these futures are a cultural notion to which we must be alert in order not to fall into the tabula rasa of globalization that overwhelms and flattens everything. The specifications and sensations of these futures are the way in which to scold and question this notion within the society and our work.
Agustín Pérez Rubio

2017 Program


Wednesday, May 24, 6:30 PM

New ways of thinking and action for a future in philosophy and contemporary art

Octavio Zaya, coordinator (USA-based curator, writer and editor).
Solange Farkas (curator and director of Associação Cultural Videobrasil, São Paulo).
George Yudice (professor of Modern Languages and Literatures and Latin American studies, Miami University).

Thursday, May 25, 6:30 PM

Projecting new contemporary paradigms for an uncertain future

Alejandro Zaera Polo, coordinator (an internationally recognized architect, theorist and thinker of the contemporary architecture, founder of the architecture firm Foreign Office Architects, Madrid / London).
Ciro Najle (architect, researcher, professor of architecture; dean of the School of Architectures and Urban Studies of Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, Buenos Aires).
Florencia Rodríguez (architect, editor y critic of architecture. Managing editor and founder of PLOT, Buenos Aires).

Friday, May 26, 6:30 PM

Waking up in the future: stasis / suspended animation

Julieta Aranda, coordinator (conceptual artist, founder of e-flux, Mexico City / Berlin / New York).
Sascha Pohflepp (artist and researcher, its works covers topics ranging from synthetic biology and artificial intelligence to geopolitics and space exploration, Berlin).
Nahum (space artist, composer and multi-instrumentalist, London / Mexico City).


Conversations with Argentine artists present at the main international art events of 2017: Marta Minujín (Documenta 14, Kassel); Fernanda Laguna (Pacific Standard Time LA/LA) and Claudia Fontes (57th Venice Biennale).

Wednesday, May 24, 4:30 PM

A conversation between the artist Marta Minujín and Rodrigo Alonso (professor and independent curator, Buenos Aires); together they will do a review on the artist’s career highlighting her participation with “The Parthenon of books” in Documenta 14, Kassel 2017.

Thursday, May 25, 4:30 PM

A conversation between the artist Fernanda Laguna and Sofía Hernandez Chong Cuy (curator of contemporary art for the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection, New York and Caracas); with the participation of José Luis Blondet (curator of Special Projects at LACMA, Los Angeles). Together they will talk about the participation of the artist in the exhibition “A Universal History of Infamy” at LACMA within the Pacific Standard Time LA/LA Program.

Friday, May 26, 4:30 PM

A conversation between Claudia Fontes, artist who will represent Argentina with her work “The horse problem” at the 57th Venice Biennale; and Manuel Quaranta (Graduate and Professor of Philosophy by the Universidad Nacional de Rosario, and Magister in Argentine Literature.).