Cemento: del under al indie, 1985-2016

Club Cultural Matienzo, 2016

Project coordination: Agustin Jais and Nicolás Igarzábal.

A documentary exhibition, a zine, 4 shows, 5 talks, a minifestival and a podcast concerning the legacy of the nightclub “Cemento”, a major yet conflicting landmark of Buenos Aires cultural history.

Their first little venue, Café Einstein, had already lit a fuse, enduring the onslaught of the dictatorship. But it was Cemento, founded with the return of democracy, that made the great explosion. Omar Chabán and Katja Alemann were the founders of this extravagant nightclub that opened its doors in June 1985 and became an icon of modernity. For 19 years, it was a central hub of a huge underground scene of musicians, artists, journalists, cultural activists and the wayward. Cemento made a cult of rock, visual arts and performance, accompanying its evolution and bridging the underground with the mass circuit.
Katja and Omar became legendary pioneers of the role of the artist-managers, now very much in vogue. But they soon split up and Chabán kept Cemento for himself. The legacy of Cemento during its 19 years of existence is as incalculable as it is underestimated, but the end is sadly known. With the start of XXI Century, he opened another nightclub: República Cromañón. In December 2004, a fire at Cromañón caused the death of 194 people, an event that definitively transformed the cultural scene in the country, marked the ruin of Cemento and installed a collective trauma that pushed its rich and conflictive history to the background.
This exhibition not only tries to tell the mythical history of a space and its owners, but also to incorporate ourselves, the community built around ths very place where the exhibition stands, as heirs of that legacy, to establish a bridge of reflection between the past and the present. Thus, it tests our ability as cultural creators to analyse our direct, contradictory antecedent. This exhibition and its activities (talks, music shows, publications, podcasts, projections, guided visits) pose the challenge of reflecting about the different modes and contexts of three decades of independent culture in democracy.

Exhibition: works and contributions by Emir Omar Chabán, Pompi Gutnisky, Mariano Báez, Gustavo Romano, Diego Fontanet, Lorena Pérez, Cristian Minzer, Vivi Tellas, Osvaldo Fulgenzi, Héctor Rago, Martín Acosta y Juan Vollaro, Alejandro Molinier, Fabian Resakka, Kiwi Sainz, Miguel Martínez, Mimí Doretti, Walter Zenker, Javier Latrónico, Guillermo Penelas, Ray Fajardo, Emiliano Penelas, Sebastián Dourado, Sebastián Santini, Marcelo Pisarro, Hernán «Cabra» de Vega, Andrés Stein, Ruth Cupara and more.

– Nightly guided tours: Fridays and saturdays from 10 pm to 4 am.*
– Music: four shows with bands that made Cemento their home stage alongside emerging artists influenced by the latter. With Palo Pandolfo z’l, Rosario Bléfari z’l, Santiago Motorizado, Mujercitas Terror, Bestia Bebé, Viva Elástico & Koyi.
– Talks: «What changed?» Five panels with protagonists of the cultural scene in the 80s and now. With Katja Alemann, Vivi Tellas, Pichón Baldinú, Fernando Noy, Patricia Pietrafiesa, Daniel Nijensohn, Edu Schmidt, Pablo Semán, Diego Fontanet, Lisa Kerner, Juan Manuel Strassburger and more.*
– Special projection: «Clásico Amoral». Premiere of the documentation of the last play directed by Emir Omar Chabán. A film by Mariano Báez.*
– Live radio show: «Enjoy kindly, enjoy truly: how to build safe and healthy massive events.» A cultural manager and lawyer, a specialist in security at mass events and a psychiatrist and Harm Reduction specialist, moderated by a music journalist. Broadcasted live by Radio Colmena.*
– Micro-festival: «Cemento is your Mother Land». Projections, poetry reading and a live show by Fede Cabral, the last person to play at Cemento.
– Publications: The release of the zine «From under to indie» (ed. Julio César Estravis B.), and a special offer of the book «Cemento: The hotbed of rock» by Nicolás Igarzábal.
*Free entrance.