Eduardo Basualdo invites viewers on a conceptual journey along Buenos Aires’s old fishing pier

Tomás Powell

Days before the opening of ‘Hopscotch (Rayuela)’, the artist welcomed Art Basel’s video crew into his studio

In his monumental sculptures and installations, Eduardo Basualdo skillfully balances sight and touch, darkness and light, matter and void. One of his main goals, the artist tells Art Basel, is ‘to create spaces where the viewer can enter a fiction.’

Basualdo is exhibiting his work alongside 17 other artists commissioned by Art Basel Cities Artistic Director Cecilia Alemani to propose a work for the exhibition ‘Hopscotch (Rayuela)’, taking place across several neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, September 6–12, 2018. With Perspective of Absence (2018), Basualdo will lead viewers on a meditative journey that will allow them to see the city – and by extension, their place in it – from a new angle.

Basualdo has taken over a wooden pier – a precarious yet mysteriously resilient structure stretching 800 meters out into the Río de la Plata – that has been home to an old fishing club since 1934. Buenos Aires, where the artist lives and works, is surrounded on three sides by one of the largest expanses of flatland in the world, the urban sprawl eventually fusing with the pampas. A view from within the river is thus a rare vantage point, offering a dual perspective: one can look back at the city or out over the water. In this video, Basualdo discusses his fascination with the horizon as the very essence of virtuality: simultaneously real and imaginary, visible yet always out of reach.