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A crazy museum in the midle of the desert

James Turrel Colomé Museum

It is somehow hard to believe that this spot exists in the middle of the Calchaquí Valley. A place that challenges our perception and makes us think about how there is always more than meets the eye; without a doubt, one of the most curious and amazing locations in the Argentine Northwest.

Only 18 kilometers away from Molinos, there is a tiny village that has become worldwide famous for the wine they manufacture since 1831 in the winery with the same name: Colomé.

Since 2009, and within the same estancia, the James Turrel Museum has been displaying the only exhibition in the world dedicated solely to the Californian artist. The building was specially designed by Turrel himself and includes nine especially-fitted rooms of light in a total area of 1.700 square metres.

None of this would have been possible without Donald Hess, the Swiss tycoon who acquired the vineyards and winery and began producing top-class wines to be sold all around the globe. Hess has been collecting Turrel’s artwork since the 70s and he personally asked him to design the building which is a museum and a piece of art in itself.

The collection consists on several drawings and nine rooms where light and space play games with our senses such as “Spread 2003” (a blue-lit room where one feels lost in the infinite) and “Unseen Blue 2002” (an installation that can only be experienced a few months a year when the rain and sunset time allows it).

There is no public transportation that takes you to Colomé but it shouldn’t be so difficult to do it if you are in Molinos. You can easily follow the signs and drive 20 minutes to get there there or even hire a taxi in the town if you don’t have your own car. With any luck, you can also hitch a ride with one of the employees that use this road everyday to go to this or another of the wineries in the area; a very special way to get to this magical spot in the middle of hills and vineyards!

James Turrel Museum