February 22, 2018
Fototeca Latinoamericana (FOLA) opened its doors in early October, 2015. Headed by Gastón Deleau and intended as the first museum of contemporary Latin American photography, it has the support of the IRSA real state group and will be located in a 1200 square-meter warehouse in the Arcos District of Palermo, Argentina. The site has an independent entrance on the corner of Güemes and Godoy Cruz streets.
The museum opened on October 8th with more than 200 works by some 80 artists from 12 countries in the region. Among them are Vik Muniz, Doris Salcedo, Carlos Garaicoa, Luis González Palma, Priscilla Monge, Alexander Apóstol, Roberto Huarcaya, Marcos López, and Adriana Lestido.
The collection, which belongs to Gastón Deleau, grew over the past decade alongside Deleau’s work in partnership with Diego Costa Peuser as the organizers of Semana del Arte (in Buenos Aires in Lima), and of the Buenos Aires Photo, Lima Photo, and Perú Arte Contemporáneo (PARC) art fairs. Deleau and Costa Peuser retain their partnership in Peru, but have decided to work independently in Buenos Aires.
Besides this private collection, made available for the institution’s use and presented in an inaugural exhibition curated by Rodrigo Alonso, FOLA will house temporary exhibitions. The first of these is devoted to Colombian photographer Leo Matiz’s portraits of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.
In the development of this project, Gastón Deleau had as his referents such examples as the Pedro Meyer Foundation’s Foto Museo Cuatro Caminos, soon to open in Mexico; the Foam in Amsterdam; Photographer’s Gallery in London; the International Center of Photography in New York; and Madrid’s La Fábrica cultural center.
For Deleau, the latter was particularly inspiring, as it boasts an exhibition space, a book-publishing arm, the production of the PhotoEspaña festival, and Trasatlántica, a forum for Ibero-American researchers, critics, curators, and photographers that includes portfolio reviews. “La Fábrica is a creative initiative devoted to photography, with more than twenty years of experience,” Deleau says. “I will attempt similar things, in my style and with my budget, without commercial purposes.”
Among the projects planned by the new museum is a collaboration with the production of the 5th Nano Festival of Photography, as well as hosting, in 2016, the 15th Author Photo Book Fair. Shows organized by guest curators will cycle through the museum two or three times a year, and they will not be limited to Latin American artists.
FOLA’s international profile will be made clear from the building’s entrance, with the names of the institution’s sponsors inscribed on a wall. More than twenty from several Latin American countries have already confirmed their participation.
The museum’s space is accessed by climbing a staircase, and on exhibit above the latter will be a project connected to the topic of light, to be changed every six months. Entrance to the museum store will be free of charge. Offerings will be selected by Hernán Gigante, director of Edo-Artis, a renowned digital-arts studio. There will be a 400 square-meter main gallery, and two smaller galleries, 120 and 100 square-meter respectively.
The museum’s administrative offices and an auditorium will be located in the back of the space, and a research center will be intended to document every photography exhibition held in the region.
Also among the museum’s projects is the production of itinerant Latin American photography exhibitions to be presented at important museums across the country.