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In this essay, various aspects of the II Encontro Latino-americano de Artes Plásticas [Second Latin American Meeting of the Visual Arts] held in Porto Alegre, Brazil, are summarized, emphasizing the performing artistic practices and the need to establish regional links between artists and researchers in the art history field. These “gatherings or meetings” (the first one held in 1989) were organized by the municipality of the Capital of Rio Grande, Brazil, that sought initiatives and means of Latin American cultural integration at the time when democratic recovery in the region had begun to slow down.


In 1990, the II Encontro Latino-Americano de Artes Plásticas [Second Latin American Meeting of the Visual Arts] was held in Porto Alegre, where various assessments and questions about continental art were debated and discussed, as well as the analysis of the various guidelines, guiding principles, and measures that were being adopted in Latin America. That same year, the Encuentro Latinoamericano de Arte en la Calle [Latin American Street Art meeting] was held in the city of Montevideo. After the great momentum of the happenings and the performance art movements during the seventies and eighties, these artistic movements penetrated the institutional art world in the nineties, becoming spectacles that slowly lost their original meaning. Faced with this situation, many contemporary Latin American artists, in the late nineties, started promoting their “makeover” seeking to recover the marginal political character they had originally prescribed. Consequently, ideas that were outside of the art market, whose underground and alternative nature had been established little by little, prevailed on the cultural scene of Latin America.

In this document, the situational artistic manifestations throughout the Latin American continent that were subjected to the international capital market flow were analyzed. In the II Encontro Latino-Americano de Artes Plásticas [Second Latin American Meeting of the Visual Arts], these problems were discussed in pursuit of innovative measures to simultaneously promote continental integration of the artistic practices as well as the field of academic research. After decades of the dictatorship, mainly in the primary southern countries of the continent, the problem of addressing Latin American culture resumed in relation to offsetting the dominance, culturally and politically, of the United States of America. In this sense, the coordinator of the event, Jose Luiz do Amaral, asserted, “It will be necessary to fight, so that the phrase by Bolivar continues to sound as a longing for an integration, in which our differences may be expressed free of the yoke of the dominator. For us, America is our homeland.” [Please refer to the ICAA digital archive for the following text by Olga Larnaudie: “Un memorial para América Latina. Clemente Padín en E. E. U. U.” (doc. no. 1242169)].

Marina Garcia, Gabriel Peluffo
Archivo Clemente Padín