The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
In this text, Peruvian writer and critic Julio Ortega argues that the work of Miguel von Dangel cannot be read on the basis of academic ideas limited by causal historicism and the Eurocentric canon´s logic. In his view, von Dangel’s work forms part of a category he calls “process objects,” that is, centers with an open, fluid, and hybrid passage. Because transgressive, organic, and decidedly anti-canonical, his works must be interpreted in the scenarios in which they ensue, scenarios that Ortega describes in terms of a “dysfunctionality of the art object” that is only visible outside the “dominant artistic economy.” His works constitute “an urgent reply” to their time.
This essay by Peruvian writer and critic Julio Ortega (b. 1942) is the prologue to the book, El pensamiento de la Imagen y otros ensayos, a compilation of articles, essays, and oral presentations on German-born Venezuelan artist Miguel von Dangel (b. 1946). The text implicitly addresses the difficulties in criticism as to determining the parameters necessary to understanding and assessing von Dangel’s extensive body of visual and literary work. Ortega sees von Dangel’s work as “process objects” resulting from a tireless countercurrent flow and a distinctive cultural discourse. Ortega explains that the reason that von Dangel’s work has clashed with criticism is that it cannot be approached from a Eurocentric perspective or even in terms of causal historiography. Therefore, this text provides an accurate yet tacit explanation of why von Dangel is largely absent from writings on twentieth-century art from Venezuela. Ortega also explains where the profound originality of this artist —whose career went against the grain of his contemporaries— underlies.
For other critical texts on Miguel von Dangel’s work, see Yasmin Monsalve, “Mi obra ha tenido que luchar contra muchos prejuicios: Un premio nacional visto con la luz de Petare” (ICAA digital archive doc. no. 1102125); the texts by Elsa Flores, “Miguel Von Dangel: La respuesta latinoamericana (I)” (doc. no. 1155150), “Miguel Von Dangel: La respuesta latinoamericana (III)” (doc. no. 1154906), and “Miguel Von Dangel” (doc. no. 1056044); an essay by Roberto Montero Castro, “Transfiguraciones de Miguel Von Dangel” (doc. no.1153996), published in 1986; essays by María Luz Cárdenas, “La Batalla de San Romano de Von Dangel (I) (doc. no. 1154028) and “La Batalla de San Romano de Von Dangel (II)” (doc. no. 1154092); Ruth Auerbach, “Hoy, el paisaje es aquí y ahora”(doc. no. 855314), published in 1996; and an article by Víctor Guédez, “Lo barroco y lo simbólico en la obra de Miguel Von Dangel” (doc. no. 1154124). See the following interviews as well: Axel Stein, “Interview with Miguel Von Dangel” (doc. no. 1102348), published in 1998; María Cecília Valera, “Entrevista con Miguel Von Dangel” (doc. no. 1154060); and María Josefa Pérez, “Miguel Von Dangel: No creo el cuento de que Reverón era loco” (doc. no. 1154012).