WAR CLUB, ba-london-return
by Nathan Tichenor –
SUNDAY, AUGUST 10, 2008
Buenos Aires – War Club in Boedo is more club than gallery where you can listen and dance to live dj sets. However, instead of go-go dancers or shows, you are surrounded by art. I like the idea of “curating” a club, and War Club has a good curator. Daniela Luna injects War Club’s events with the same punk energy she brings to her Appetite Gallery in San Telmo where the art is not only on the walls but also in the events that occur between them.
War Club proves that the true spirit of punk is not in the heavy-touch, but rather in the no-touch. The space itself, a former factory, has neither been altered nor honed and instead maintains its concrete floors, cracked plaster walls, and courtyard bar’s half-open-to-the-sky ceiling. On the club’s opening night, the bar itself consisted of no more than a chest-fridge with its available (albeit limited) drinks written on a piece of paper in quick sharpie pen. But the crowd who patronizes War Club is not picky; moreover, they come not for the space but for what happens in the space – for the art, the music, and the people.
So it was in keeping with this spirit of counter-intervention that Luna invited one of her artists to create an installation at War Club. In a small former kitchen, sandwiched in a corner between the bar and the main room, Guido Ignatti has “non-transformed” the space. Because it looks deceptively similar to how it appeared before Ignatti began. With Poetica intimista en un espacio que no le corresponde (or Intimate poetry in a space that does not correspond), Ignattti gives us a seemingly institutional kitchen, very much of a bygone era of sometime between 1950 and 1980.
Ignatti’s hand is barely noticeable: you can’t be certain which features are original and which have been changed. In fact, much of the original kitchen remains – including the tiles, countertops, and appliances. But Ignatti cleaned and honed these features until they became more than themselves. The tiles transcend their uniqueness; they are also the essence of Tiles.
Ignatti added the carpet which, when stepped on, automatically signals your entrance into a different space. You are in the kitchen but at the same time you float; your soft and quiet tread detaches you. But the wallpaper is probably the most surprising addition. Ignatti has aged it so convincingly you would swear it has been there for years prior. However, the baroque monkey-in-a-tree pattern provides the subtlest incongruity, suggesting another sensibility, another – perhaps parallel – place or time.
You feel like you’ve been here before but you are also aware of it being a unique space. Different epochs, specifics and ideals, along with your own individual memories, are conflated into one. For a moment time stands still.