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This text is an article by Francisco Bendezú, a Peruvian poet, in which he critiques a series of exhibitions held in Lima (Peru) at the end of 1965. Among various shows in the Peruvian capital, the author emphasizes the ones by Luis Arias Vera and Gloria Gómez Sánchez, as well as the environment Mimuy, which was created by three students of architecture. Bendezú makes it clear that his lengthy text is in response to two articles by Juan Acha, the Peruvian critic and theoretician who was based in Mexico, and he defines these manifestations as “neo-Dadaist.” He declares his opposition to conceptions such as Mimuy, because they devalue art and distort the very idea of aesthetics; above all, in a context wherein many still live in “huts and shacks.” He calls for reflection and a rejection of any “cunning invitation to nihilism.” Despite this, the author nevertheless condemns the attack on Mimuy at the IAC (Instituto de Arte Contemporáneo), after the complaints made by Bolivian sculptor Marina Nuñez del Prado, who was also exhibiting there.


This article was written by Francisco Bendezú, a Peruvian poet, in which he critiqued a series of exhibitions that took place in Lima (Peru) at the end of 1965.


These three exhibitions are today considered the earliest examples of the concepts of “installation” and “happening” in Peru. These were Mimuy—an environment by Mario Acha (son of art critic Juan Acha), Efraín Montero and Miguel Malatesta; and Yllomomo and Escenografía para un folclor urbano by Gloria Gómez Sánchez and Luis Arias Vera, respectively. It was Juan Acha himself who advertised these experimental proposals in his column for El Comercio, an influential newspaper in the capital. In open opposition to such trends, writer Francisco Bendezú delineated for Acha the cultural differences that separated their nation from the cosmopolitan centers where these artistic languages developed. In some measure, Bendezú was allying himself with the most conservative sectors in the art world of that time, when he criticized the use of “non-durable, ephemeral, and aggressively empty materials.” It was, perhaps, the friendship between Acha and Bendezú—the latter dedicated his poem Oda a la tarde to the former—that might have prevented the renowned art critic from issuing a public response.

Daniel Contreras Medina
Museo de Arte de Lima, Lima, Peru