Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

www.mfah.org Home

IcaadocsArchive

Document first page thumbnail
    Editorial Categories [?]
    Synopsis

     

    In this text, Juan Acha responds to Aracy A. Amaral’s article arguing that the installation entitled Etsedrón, which appeared at the 1975 (XIII) São Paulo Biennial (October 17-December 14), constituted a promising new direction for Latin American art. Acha responds that it does, but not necessarily for the reasons Amaral has argued. Acha begins by assessing the work’s value, analyzing how dualities such as the real versus the fantastic and rupture versus continuity are at play in its meaning. He argues that the work’s value must be judged according to what motivates these dualities. Acha disputes the basis for Amaral’s claims regarding Etsedrón’s quality, and that its quality is what marks the work as a rupture from international modes of making art. Etsedrón, he argues, is actually inline with international modes of making art, and is historically consistent with the anthropological emphasis in Brazilian art. It is not its originality, he argues, but rather its “cultural-anthropological” basis that makes Etsedrón a compelling model for the future of Latin American art.

     

    Annotations

     

    Juan Acha (1911-95) was a critic and theorist who lived and worked in his native Peru until 1971 when he moved permanently to Mexico City where he continued to write extensively about art and aesthetic theory. In this text he responds to a text by the Brazilian critic and art historian Aracy [Abreu] Amaral entitled, “Etsedrón: A Form of Violence.” Amaral’s text and Acha’s response originally appeared in the April-June 1975 issue of the journal Artes Visuales, a journal published in Mexico City. Responses to Amaral’s text by María Luisa Torrens, and Manuel Felguérez were also published in the same issue of Artes Visuales, and the work Etsedrón became the lynchpin for a debate initiated by Amaral about finding a way for Latin American art to escape the pull of internationalism. One of the main concerns Acha voices in his text is the problem of critical judgment. He rejects the fact that Amaral’s argument is based on her claims regarding the artists’ originality. Arguing for continuity instead of rupture, Acha contends that Etsedrón should be understood as drawing on an anthropological foundation of Brazilian art, and, as such, can be understood as a potentially useful mode for expressing “our reality.”