Mexico City, one of the world’s vibrant international arts and creative centres, will host more than 150 arts leaders from all over the world on 5—6 December to mark the end of the mentoring year. They will join an equal number of prominent artists and arts administrators from Latin America at the Rolex Arts weekend and a ceremony honouring the mentors and protégés of the Arts Initiative.
“In keeping with Mexico City’s growing art scene, we are thrilled to be bringing the Rolex Arts Initiative to this hub of creativity,” said Rebecca Irvin, head of philanthropy at Rolex. “This marks the seventh cycle of this biennial programme and, in a happy coincidence, we have both a mentor and a protégé from Mexico: This year’s celebrated three-time Oscar-winner, Alejandro González Iñárritu, is the film mentor, while lighting designer Sebastián Solórzano Rodríguez is the theatre protégé. In addition, among the 43 mentors and 43 protégés who have participated in the Rolex Arts Initiative since its 2002 launch, a dozen come from Latin America so we are delighted to be holding our celebratory event in the region for the first time.”
An exciting weekend of the arts
The highlight of the celebration is the public, two-day Rolex Arts Weekend, to be held on Saturday, 5 December and Sunday, 6 December at the Centro Cultural del Bosque. This performing arts centre with its multiple theatres for dance, music, film, theatrical and other productions is at the heart of culture in Mexico City.
The programme is being curated by a distinguished arts director, Joseph V. Melillo, executive producer of the famed multi-arts centre, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), in New York. Highlights are:
• Three-time 2015 Oscar winner Alejandro González Iñárritu and his protégé Tom Shoval will screen film clips, including of their own work, with an accompanying discussion moderated by Daniela Michel, director of the Morelia Film Festival.
• With nine dancers from the San Francisco Ballet, protégé Myles Thatcher will perform five works. One of these works, Body of Dreams, choreographed by Thatcher, is a world premiere. Mentor Alexei Ratmansky will introduce the performances. Booker Prize-winner and literature mentor Michael Ondaatje and his protégé Miroslav Penkov will discuss their literary influences, with readings by actor and former mentor Kate Valk.
• Three original compositions, including a world premiere, by music protégé Vasco Mendonça will be played by acclaimed Mexican contemporary group CEPROMUSIC. The ensemble will also play Lichtbogen, a work by his mentor Kaija Saariaho, the distinguished Finnish composer. Mezzo-soprano Susan Platts, a former music protégée, will perform Mendonça’s work Boys of Summer.
• Peter Zumthor, architecture mentor and winner of the Pritzker Prize, will give a keynote presentation about his mentoring year with protégée Gloria Cabral, which focused on the design of a tea chapel in South Korea.
• Mentor Jennifer Tipton, recognized worldwide for her lighting designs for theatre, opera and dance, will introduce a light installation by theatre protégé Sebastián Solórzano Rodríguez, using old, broken and discontinued lighting devices.
• Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, internationally respected for large-scale installations such as The weather project, will join his visual arts protégé Sammy Baloji in conversation and an “immersive” photographic experience.
• For the first time in the programme’s history, the general public will be able to attend the star-studded celebration of the conclusion of the 2014-2015 Rolex Arts Initiative, to be held at the Julio Castillo Theater. All of the current mentors and protégés will be honoured, and in a thrilling finale to the evening, the new mentors for 2016-2017 will be announced – another group of renowned artistic masters.