There are a number of galleries and museums in Buenos Aires to visit time and time again, each displaying work of interest to accommodate a broad range of tastes and interests, but Proa, located at the very end of the famous El Caminito street in La Boca, is an excellent gallery to visit if you know nothing about art and take one of their tours.
At present (April/May 2010), Proa is showing an exhibition which explores the era of futuristic art, prolific in many European countries from the 1900s – 1940s. In itself, not something I know anything about really, nor an area of art that I am in anyway interested in, however, the talk we were given was excellent.
I´m not normally one for joining a group of people and wandering around somewhere like a cow amongst the herd, but the speaker or guide or whatever you want to call her, was simply brilliant. She was so thoroughly knowledgeable about everything and clearly really enjoys her work, going over time with her talk through simply becoming engrossed and not realising the time.
Another cool thing about talks given in Proa was that everyone on the tour really seemed to enjoy it. It was an entirely different experience to that which I am used to coming from London. Our guide actually taught us something, then asked us questions throughout and people responded. There were real discussions going on in a natural way; people talking about art and referring to their knowledge as a matter of course, answering her questions and gently provoking debate for all-round enjoyment.
In London you´d never get that kind of experience. People are too shy and guides simply wouldn´t invite discussion on this level; the differences in culture being brought to light all over again in yet another way.
So, yes, please do visit Proa in La Boca if you happen to be in Buenos Aires for any reason, but not just or the art itself. Take a tour or an educational talk at this gallery because I can guarantee that you really will enjoy the experience and even consider booking in for another of the same at a later date.