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MACO: The 10th Anniversary

By Margaret Failoni

For the 10th anniversary of MACO, the Mexico City International Art Fair, the organizers went all the way, inviting over 350 special guests from all over the world, including collectors, museum directors and curators.

There were 131 art galleries from 21 different countries presenting a wide range of what is loosely termed modern and contemporary art. As is often the case in these huge events (i.e. the Venice Biennale) the collateral exhibitions or events prove to be as interesting if not more so.

Monday and Tuesday were set up dates for the Wednesday, April 10, opening, which was by invitation only. On Tuesday morning there was a guided tour for the fair’s participants to the National Museum of Anthropology followed by a quick visit to the X Biennale Monterrey FEMSA at the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso with a brunch afterwards. As is always the case, few people attended as most were busy setting up their stands. At 2pm the same day, a walk to the Centro Cultural de España in Mexico CCEM, for a guided tour of the collective exhibition of works by Spanish artists Israel Torres Rangel, Máximo González, Verónica Toscano, Gitte Bog, Eder Castillo, Luís Ese, Pía Vázquez, Chloé Fricout, Javier Toscano, Kotik Villela, Hugo Leautaud, Alumnos 47 and Edgar Endress under the title of “This is Not a Museum.” Tapas and drinks were offered.

Guests were then taken back to their hotels to freshen up before a guided tour to the most fashionable art galleries in the various areas of the city. At 6pm there was the presentation of the Bucareli Act: a series of happenings of contemporary art which united more than 25 international artists which took place in several different spaces in Av. Bucareli, in the Colonia Juárez, (a street with a series of beautiful Belle Epoch, rather run-down and semi-abandoned buildings). At 9pm there was a fantastic party at the artists’ hangout, the Covadonga.

On Wednesday morning there was a private preview opening of the fair for special guests, collectors, etc. The fair then officially opened at 4pm for those of the public with invitations: mostly dealers, artists, curators, etc. The fair closed for the day at 9pm and those with VIP tickets moved on to the Ex Convento de San Hipólito for a welcome dinner.

For the next four days, the fair continued from noon to 9pm with many collateral activities for before and after such as a visit to the JUMEX Contemporary Art Collection and by VIP invitation only to the Jumex gala dinner in the evening held at a fabulous disco club until 2am; guided tours to the MUAC Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo; a visit to the exhibition “El Museo Sin Edificio” with Yona Friedman; Proyecto Sexta Sur with Laura Lima; “Ahi Estas” with Juan Sebastian Lach; “Elite del Escuro in MUAC. A brunch was offered after the tour. The group then moved on (in special chartered buses) to the Museo Anahuacalli where there was the James Brown exhibition “My Other House.”

At 8pm, an hour before the fair ended for the day, a tour was arranged to visit Museo Rufino Tamayo for a private tour of the “Tamayo/Trayectos, Olinka o donde se crea el Movimento, Una Utopia de la Comunicación” by Juan Downey.

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