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This text was written by the art critic Alejandro Romualdo on the national contest that was organized to select the artist who would create a monument to Túpac Amaru II, the indigenous forefather of Peru’s independence at the Plaza de Armas of Qosqo (Cusco), the place where he had been executed. The cultural art critic proposed an interpretation “unconnected to the aesthetic results of the monument” and instead focus on “the historical fact and its evaluation.” He suggested a broader artistic conception, removing it from showing only the “isolated figure at the head of the rebellion” and having the monument to also encompass the “Peruvian revolutionary family” in its actuality, highlighting the role of the wife and the children of the hero, all collaborators in the insurrection and companions in the same final event. In his viewpoint, it would signify “the unification of the family forming a nucleus consisting of one singular will, that is, to fight” and associated to the social and political processes of the present. He conceived the monument as a work of art portraying national integration and union, where the country would be unquestionably perceived as “a dismembered family.”
This statement shows the importance given by certain (militant) Peruvian intellectuals to the polemical competition for building a monument to Túpac Amaru II. Associated with the Communist Party, Alejandro Romualdo became one of the most recognizable literary figures of the “Generación del ’50” [The Fifties Generation]. In addition to being a poet, he exerted with forceful controversy his artistic critique becoming the main adversary to non-figurative trends. His views against the abstract and visual representation of the Andean hero were of great interest for the literary recognition of his own poem, Canto coral a Túpac Amaru, that was also published as a music record during the military revolutionary government (1968–75). In that edition, as well as in this article, the graphic design used variations of pop images of the hero, very typical of that period in time, although counter to the results achieved by the convened competitions held to define the Andean hero’s official profile. José Gabriel Condorcanqui, Túpac Amaru II (1738–81), was a curaca or chief of Incan descent who, in 1780, led the most important Andean uprising against the Spanish Empire. Largely ignored by traditional Spanish American historiography, his figure was the emblem of the so-called Gobierno Revolucionario de las Fuerzas Armadas initially headed by General Velasco Alvarado during its first phase (1968–75), which was characterized by social reform and by an interest in symbolic representation. [For further reading on Túpac Amaru II, please refer to the ICAA digital archive for the following texts: “¿Cómo fue Túpac Amaru?” by General EP Felipe de la Barra (doc. no. 865441); “Convocan a concurso: monumento a Túpac Amaru se levantará en el Cuzco” (without author) (doc. no. 1053438); “Convocan a concurso de pintura para perpetuar la imagen plástica del mártir José Gabriel Condorcanqui” (without author) (doc. no. 865422); “Declaran desierto el Concurso de Pintura ‘Túpac Amaru II’” by Alfredo Arrisueño Cornejo (doc. no. 865498); “En busca de la imagen arquetípica de Túpac Amaru” (without author) (doc. no. 865702); “El retrato de Túpac Amaru” by Daniel Valcárcel (doc. no. 1052165); and “Túpac Amaru: ¿verdadero retrato?” by A. O. Z. (doc. no. 865460)].