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This is the text of a brief interview with Francisco Mariotti, Luis Arias Vera, and Luis Zevallos, the artists who organized the Festival de Arte Total Contacta 72 in Lima. Mariotti and Arias Vera attempt to identify the major guidelines used for this huge event. “Contacta is contact,” says the former, “contact with artists who can use it as a conduit to the public.” “Anyone can be part of Contacta. It’s a place where everyone experiments and creates,” says Arias Vera, who adds that “there is no hierarchy in Contacta.” The article is illustrated with a plan of action for the festival at the Parque de la Reserva in Lima.
The Contacta 72 festival, which opened on Wednesday July 26 at the Parque de la Reserva in Lima, was the first attempt made by the regime led by General Juan Velasco Alvarado (1968–75) to bring art, in its many guises, to the Peruvian people. The five-day event attracted a total of about two hundred fifty thousand visitors, who came to see the works exhibited by the Peruvian–Swiss artist Francisco Mariotti (b. 1943) and the painters Luis Arias Vera (1932–2016) and Luis Zevallos (b. 1933), among others. The original version of this festival was staged at the IAC (Instituto de Arte Contemporáneo) when the director of the institute, the historian and art critic Alfonso Castrillón (b. 1935), invited Mariotti to show his work there. Mariotti, in turn, suggested creating the Contacta–Festival de Arte Total, which launched a multidisciplinary group effort to expose the general public to art. As a result of the huge success of that event, and Mariotti’s involvement in SINAMOS (Sistema Nacional de Apoyo a la Movilización Social), the second festival was wholly funded by the Peruvian government. The next event of this kind was the Encuentro Nacional Inkari, organized in 1973, and in 1980, Mariotti promoted the mythical group event E. P. S. Huayco (which was active in 1980–81).
[As complementary reading about SINAMOS and Naylamp 72, see the following articles in the ICAA digital archive: (unattributed) “Revolución en la artesanía” (doc. no. 1139278); (unattributed) “Naylamp 72” (doc. no. 1139009); by Alfonso Castrillón, Leslie Lee, and Carlos Bernasconi “Fundamentación para el dictamen por mayoría simple a favor del artista popular Joaquín López Antay” (doc. no. 1135896); by Alfonso Bermúdez “Premio a López Antay suscita controversias. Unos: consagración del arte popular. Otros: una cosa es arte y otra artesanía” (doc. no. 1135879); by Francisco Abril de Vivero, Luis Cossío Marino, and Alberto Dávila “Artistas plásticos cuestionan premio” (doc. no. 1135960); and (unattributed) “‘No todos nos quieren ni en Lima ni en Ayacucho’: así comentó sobre cuestionamiento a premio” (doc. no. 1135930)].
[See also the following articles, all unattributed, about the multidisciplinary festivals organized by SINAMOS, such as Contacta 72 (1972) in “Arte libertario” (doc. no. 1138949), “SINAMOS Contacta 72: a los artistas y artesanos del Perú” (doc. no. 1138964), and “Pueblo y arte se dieron la mano en Contacta 72: gran cita en el Parque de la Reserva” (doc. no. 1138994); about Inkari (1973) in “Reintegración. Inkari: un reencuentro esperado” (doc. no. 1139039); and about ORAMS IX (1975) in “Arte y Pueblo” (doc. no. 1139024)].