An exhibition of design, art and pop culture in Argentina at MALBA

March 29, 2023 | nadiaevangelina

"Del cielo a casa" (From Heaven to Home) is an exhibition at the Museum of Latin American Art (Malba) that proposes a crossover between design and industrial objects that appeal to the nostalgia of young Argentines. The exhibition presents an overview of Argentina's material culture, from the early 20th century to the present, in dialogue with the political, social, and emotional imaginary.
Artwork inspired in the "Merengada" cookie by Martín Di Paola
The proposal gathers more than 600 pieces related to everyday life. YPF gas stations, Sylvapen markers, Flecha sneakers, among so many iconic products of local culture, come from different public and private collections, as well as from different archives. At the same time, the exhibition explores various large-scale industrial projects and accurately asks itself about the ambiguous dividing line between design and art.

The title "Del cielo a casa" comes from a book of short stories by Hebe Uhart, an Argentine writer whose work was unknown for most of her life. This book invites us to relive (or imagine) the memories of childhood and that which is presented to us as snippets of other people's lives and proposes a kind of reverie.

The exhibition does not seek to mark the historiography of national design, there is no time guide or pedagogical manifestations, but thematic groupings from which moments, spaces, and non-places of national culture are presented. Three major areas can be recognized: the identity of the territory, the design outside the canons, and the political, social, and economic vicissitudes of the South American country. The objects are grouped without chronology, hierarchies, or distinction of disciplines, and the border between art and design disappears.

Along the tour, we can walk through the window of Harrods (1956) made by the artist Juan Batlle Planas, see the covers of national rock albums by Juan Gatti -of Sui Generis, Pescado Rabioso and Pappo- look and admire the Dinarg D200 microcar (1960-61) and enjoy a cup of coffee from Florida Garden. Some elements refer to contemporary Argentine music, particularly urban music artists.

The recreation of a Harrods shop window designed by Juan Batlle Planas
Daniel Joglar's installation made with Octopus balls
The façade of a traditional hairdressing salon was reconstructed for the exhibition.
The exhibition also includes three installations by contemporary Argentine artists. One of them is the work of Daniel Joglar before entering the room, which consists of hundreds of hanging balls. These balls, produced in Argentina, have marked four generations of children.

Another relevant object is the PAN boxes that refer to the National Food Plan promoted in the 80s and which was the prelude to the economic crisis of the following decade. At the other end of the room, we see a series of banging pots and pans that refer to the 2001 demonstrations, in which citizens went out to protest by banging their pots and pans in the face of one of the biggest and most violent crises in the country. So much so that the president of the time resigned when he escaped in a helicopter.

Somehow, "Del cielo a casa" generates a dialogue that crosses different generations and cultures in one place. In addition to the emotional link with the viewer, the exhibition also makes a mapping of Argentine culture in recent decades, from its qualities to the most distressing moments of the country. This proposal, in the end, shows the resilience of the Argentine people, as well as the rest of Latin America.

"Del cielo a casa"
Location: Malba, Junín 1930, Av. Pres. Figueroa Alcorta 3415, C1425CLA CABA, Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Opening Date: 23rd March 2023
End Date:12th June 2023
Working hours: Wednesday-Monday: 12pm to 8pm

Official website: 
Mentioned Artists:
Martín Di Paola
Juan Batlle Planas

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