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The goal of this essay is to make people aware that the government of the city of Buenos Aires closed and seized the CAyC al Aire Libre [CAyC in the Open Air] exhibition three days after it opened. The essay also asks for the support of those who believe in the Centro de Arte y Comunicación [Art and Communication Center] and its efforts to promote a “national culture and art,” and urges them to demand a review of the measures that were taken. In support of this request is a brief statement concerning the origins of the exhibition: how the idea was born, the type of works involved, and some background concerning this kind of event in CAyC’s history, among other details.
In 1968, the Centro de Estudios de Arte y Comunicación [Center for Art and Communications Studies (CEAC)] was created, which, shortly after its first public event at the Galería Bonino (August–September 1969), changed its name to Centro de Arte y Comunicación [Art and Communications Center (CayC)]. Always led by Jorge Glusberg as director and theoretician, the CAyC sponsored several different artists throughout its time. In 1971, the Grupo de los Trece [Group of the Thirteen] was created, made up of Jacques Bedel, Luis Benedit, Gregorio Dujovny, Carlos Gizburg, Víctor Grippo, Jorge González Mir, Vicente Marotta, Luís Pazos, Alfredo Portillos, Juan Carlos Romero, Julio Teich, Horacio Zabala, Alberto Pellegrino, and Jorge Glusberg. Later on, some artists moved on while others were included; in 1975, the CayC Group included the participation of Bedel, Benedit, Grippo, Portillos, and Glusberg.
As part of the interdisciplinary action that the CayC intended since inception in 1969 (“Qué es el CEAC” [What is the CEAC], during the Primera Muestra del Centro de Estudios de Arte y Comunicación de la Fundación de Investigación Interdisciplinaria presentada en la Galería Bonino de Buenos Aires, [First Exhibition of the Center of Art and Communication Studies of the Foundation for Interdisciplinary Research presented at the Bonino Gallery in Buenos Aires] August–September 1969), the organization of courses and seminars taught by acknowledged intellectuals gets started. Beginning in 1973, with the founding of the Escuela de Altos Estudios [School of Advanced Studies] of the CAyC, this type of activity fell under their scope.
CAyC al Aire Libre [CAyC in the Open Air] or Arte e Ideología, CAyC al Aire Libre [Art and Ideology, CAyC in the Open Air] (Plaza Roberto Arlt) was one of the three parts of the Arte de Sistemas II [Systems Art II] exhibition held in Buenos Aires in September 1972). The other two were Arte de Sistemas Internacional [Systems Art International] (Museo de Arte Moderno),and Arte de Sistemas Argentina [Systems Art Argentina] (Centro de Arte y Comunicación).
“Arte de sistemas” was the term coined by Jorge Glusberg to define the various artistic proposals carried out within CAyC’s sphere of influence. According to this definition, a work was understood as a system of signs that could, in turn, refer to a variety of codes: political, ecological, conceptual, and cybernetic, among others. Therefore, above and beyond the myriad meanings suggested by the works, they all had something in common in that each could be classified as a system. This meant that the works could theoretically be either mass produced or multiplied in some way, thus stressing the relevance of the creative process rather than the finished product.