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.
Nelly Richard ponders the state of contemporary art in Latin American cultures, both in terms of its circulation and regarding its frame of references. She wonders whether international themes and subjects are repeated at a local level or whether new and different frameworks are being established locally as a basis for appropriating—or not—international ideas. She also addresses the “myth” of Latin American identity, stereotypically viewed as “primitive” or “exotic.” Nelly Richard claims that, on the contrary, artists in Latin American actively challenge all those stereotypes.
This text was written for the catalogue of the 5th Sydney Biennial in 1984. It was published in the catalogue produced by Galería Sur on the occasion of the exhibition in Santiago, Chile, of works that were sent for that event. Written a decade after the 1973 coup d’état—that overthrew the democratically elected government of President Salvador Allende (1970–73), and following the lengthy military dictatorship that ensued—the text is deliberately ambiguous. On one hand, it vaguely refers to certain strategies or tactics against censorship and arbitrary policies and; on the other, it is noncommittal, abrupt, and hard to follow. The cryptic, critical style forces the reader to find a possible exit in order to decipher the writer’s veiled remarks. Nelly Richard—who was born in France and has lived in Chile since 1970—is a distinguished writer on the subject of cultural theory and sociology. It should be noted that her definition of what is “Latin American” is expressed within the sociopolitical context found in Chile at that time and throughout the continent, in general. She pioneered Chilean studies of the concept of a center-periphery.