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.
Supported by theories of folk art that are backed by authors such as Néstor García Canclini and Francisco Da Antonio, the author, Francisco Prada, defends this genre through the formulation of a definition that affords it dignity and examines it in light of so-called high art. The Venezuelan sculptor critiques the frequent disdain for these arts, and that diminishes them to the point of being treated as inferior for being the artistic product of men from rural or marginalized origins. In light of this, Prada states: “el arte popular (…) es la expresión de la capacidad de hacer e imaginar con lenguaje propio, de manera creativa, como corresponde a todos los hombres, (…) lo nuestro, lo local, regional y nacional.” [Folk art (…) is the expression of the ability to create and to imagine using one’s own language in a creative manner, as is the right of all men, (…) that which is ours, local, regional, [and] national.] This is “expresión específica de la cultura como producto socio-cultural individual y colectivo” [a specific cultural expression as a sociocultural, individual, and collective product] and is on the same level as all other artistic creations.
This text, written by Venezuelan Francisco Prada, for the I Bienal Nacional Salvador Valero de Arte Popular [First Salvador Valero National Biennale of Folk Art] [Museo de Arte Popular de Occidente Salvador Valero (Trujillo, 1986] defends folk art and affords it a place similar to high and intellectual art; [the text] is also of interest because it is focuses on the differences between the two contexts: discussing rural folk art (which is produced in the countryside) and urban folk art (which is produced in the neighborhoods of the great cities). Prada does this with the intention of highlighting the fact that when folk art is spoken of, it is done with insistence on its rural context, omitting that many of its representatives live in urban environments. Prada likewise references other authors that examine this topic, creating connections and facilitating the attempt of others to delve deeply into it.