I was surprised by how quickly my time in Chile passed, I felt very at ease in the country. It mix of rugged, beautiful mountains and extensive coast lines were fascinating and I was culturally at ease. It was however, time to go.
I said my fairwells and boarded the night bus to Mendoza. The following eight hours involved clearing customs, a ham and cheese sandwich and not a lot of sleep, but I made it. New country- next phase of 34South|61North.
I was lucky enough to be introduced to Tommy and he became my host and tour guide for the next three days.
After walking the streets in the late afternoon sunshine for three hours or so I felt well acquainted with the relatively small city, which is on a grid structure after a devastating earthquake in the 1980’s. We made our way to an opening at ECA, a government run gallery space that occupies an impressive two story building with a domed roof and basement level. The building is an ex-bank that went bust and it still could do with a few long hours of maintenance. Regardless I was impressed by the structure before I even noticed the art being shown.
Installations, paintings, sculpture, video and photography the building was full of contemporary works from both established and young national artists. The mix of work and artists from all stages of their careers was interesting and something that is worth considering when hoping to integrate art and soften the boundaries between the super well known and the obsolete.
I had the pleasure of getting to know Alfredo Dufour a young painter form Mendoza who had shown work at the ECA a month before hand. At the start of his career, its worth keeping an eye on his blog!
The following two days in Mendoza felt more like a holiday I enjoyed the sun, good food and wine and making new friends. Then it was time to move on…next stop La Cumbre.