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 1993 text, Ruth Auerbach places the work of the artists participating in the 1st Salón Pirelli de Jóvenes Artistas within two contexts: a universal context and that of Latin America. At the same time, she justifies the existence of the Salon through a consideration of its philosophy, objectives, and achievements. The writer establishes different categories for the many approaches presented within the exhibition framework. She defines the 1980s as a decade of fertility and excess for art, which translated into an attitude of questioning by the creators and the viewing public. The questions that emerged from that period were the point of departure for the new generation of the 1990s. Auerbach defines contemporary Latin American art as the product of many transformations and shifts. Still, it is always constructing its own cultural identity beyond the set clichés of what [qualities] are considered Latin American: “the exotic,” “the fantastic,” and “magical realism.” Moreover, she refers to What is Venezuelan as a “highly unique, extraordinary” case of “fluctuating identity,” that arises “from excess and privation.” In thinking about the philosophy, objectives, and achievements of this first round of the Salón Pirelli, Auerbach establishes several themes within which to consider and categorize the different approaches of the participants: “Identity and Idiosyncrasy,” “The Body, Skin, and Chaos,” “Politicized Reality,” and “The Form of the Concept.”
The essential importance of the text summarized here is that through the Salón Pirelli is that it makes Venezuelan contemporary art more into focus. It does so by analyzing and embracing the predominant characteristics of Venezuelan art in the 1980s, pointing out that in turn, these qualities became the starting point for art in the 1990s. In the text, Auerbach refers to “What is Venezuelan,” always set in the framework of the Latin American art world. The reader should be aware that in Venezuela, Ruth Auerbach has upheld her chosen role of critic and promoter of the art made by young adults. This has provided continuity for projects started in the 1980s and 1990s.
[Regarding other texts about the Salón Pirelli, for those listed below—all written by the Venezuelan art curator María Luz Cárdenas—see the ICAA digital archive: “Nuevas realidades, nuevos conceptos para un salón de jóvenes” (doc. no. 1161393); “De la ilusión óptica a la desilusión cultural: “Arte desde el exilio: Enfoque metodológico y pautas generales de aproximación al II Salón Pirelli de jóvenes artistas y lenguajes” (doc. no. 1161345); “Aproximación al III Salón Pirelli” (doc. no. 1162019); and “Apostando a futuro: Notas sobre del V Salón Pirelli” (doc. no. 1162038)].