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.
This article describes the artists’ occupation of the Montevideo city exhibition venue of el Subte in August 1963, which continued through December of that year. The ironic title of the text, “Abstractos concretan” (Abstract Artists Concretize), makes reference to what was seen by the public as the “oddness” of the avant-garde, or subversive abstract artists also known as “concrete” artists. The article provides an account of the extreme measure taken to protest against the authorities of the city of Montevideo for naming jurors the artists deemed unqualified; it also describes the historical precedents for the conflict.
This article identifies certain formal stances in “the aesthetic realm” with specific ideological stances in “the political realm,” using classifications that the artists in the protest deemed outdated. According to the press, the avant-garde of “abstract artists” contested the jury of the XV Salón Municipal de Artes Plásticas (its members were José Belloni, Esteban Garino, and architects Octavio de los Campos, and Alberto Muñoz del Campo) named by the Concejo Municipal de Montevideo. The article clarifies that the artists oppose the utterly “political” process by which the jury was named; the council had clear affinities, both in the city and beyond, for artistic tendencies that the occupying artists considered “outdated” and “very conservative.” In the mid-sixties, many artists demanded that the art scene be independent from the public bureaucracy. The occupation was the first act of “cultural unionism” in which theater actors, dancers, and musicians came together to support the protest by the visual artists.