CULTURE

Duprat: "I hope hundreds of thousands will see this exhibition"

MNBA director Andrés Duprat spoke to the Times about bringing the Miró exhibit to Buenos Aires and how he hopes hundreds of thousands will get to see it during its five-month run.

MNBA director Andrés Duprat.
MNBA director Andrés Duprat. Foto:Cedoc.
How did this project with the Reina Sofía begin?

As you know, the exhibition was first prepared a few years ago for itinerancy between several US museums. I knew the project and was interested in it, especially after signing a framework agreement with the Reina Sofía, which was aimed at both an exchange of expertise and exhibitions. Based on that agreement, we entered a strategic partnership with the Museum of Fine Arts of Lima in order to bring the exhibition in South America, since it is a highcost undertaking. Miró’s is powerful work, it’s not the kind of intimate work that the viewer must make an effort to approach.

He is a gestural artist who plays with free and attractive symbols that seduce the viewer. And he’s very well-known in Argentina: I believe if you show an image of one of Miró’s paintings on the street, most people will identify the artist.

Is the high cost also a reason for its five-month duration?

This kind of exhibit must have that duration. First, as you said, because of the costs, but also because a city such as Buenos Aires has a sizeable public and receives many tourists, both international and domestic. BA is a cosmopolitan city, with many private and public museums, hundreds of galleries and thousands of cultural activities, so longer durations for big exhibitions are also necessary given the local competition.

How much the domestic tourism play into this?

A lot, actually. I come from Bahía Blanca and ran the Fine Arts Museum there. But in a city such as Bahía Blanca, wherethe public is not as wide, itmakes little sense to include along-term exhibition, which would prevent the museum from offering more diverse seasons. But Buenos Aires receives many visitors from all over the country. In my view, it is the responsibility of the MNBA to offer big exhibitions, as if it were New York’s Metropolitan or Madrid’s Prado or Reina Sofía. If we don’t do this, nobody can bring large shows and I believe that is the role of the museum.

How will you assess the success of this exhibition?

There are several ways. A series of side activities are prepared for each exhibition, such asguided tours for children and adults, activities for visually- or hearing-impaired visitors, conferences and talks, which tend to give us a good amount of feedback. In addition, we conduct visitor surveys, asking people what drew them to the exhibition, how many times they saw it, how long they stayed. This is a very successful museum in terms of numbers, we get around 600,000 visitors a year and I hope this Miró exhibition will gain 300,000 on its own. It’s also a free-of-charge museum, which is no small thing if you think that Spain has no free museums, and that makes it also for you easier to return and visit again.





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