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This text reports on the 3rd Medellín Biennial. Among other details, it lists the number of rooms used in the event, the number of participating artists, and the members of the panel of judges. It also mentions the exhibitions presented by the Centro de Arte y Comunicación [Art and Communication Center] (CAyC) — both Arte de Sistemas [Systems Art] (Buenos Aires: Museo de Arte Moderno, July 1971) and Hacia un Perfil Latinoamericano del Arte [Toward a Latin American Profile of Art] were presented in the international and the Argentine sections.
The Centro de Estudios de Arte y Comunicación [Center for Art and Communication Studies (CEAC)] was founded in 1968. Shortly after its first public event at the Galería Bonino in August-September of 1969, its name was changed to Centro de Arte y Comunicación (CAyC). Over the course of time and under the leadership of its director and theoretician, Jorge Glusberg, the CAyC sponsored a number of artists. The Grupo de los Trece [Group of Thirteen] was created in 1971, and included Jacques Bedel, Luis Benedit, Gregorio Dujovny, Carlos Ginzburg, Víctor Grippo, Jorge González Mir, Vicente Marotta, Luis Pazos, Alfredo Portillos, Juan Carlos Romero, Julio Teich, Horacio Zabala, Alberto Pellegrino, and Glusberg himself. After a time, some of the original artists left the group and others joined, and in about 1975 Jacques Bedel, Luis Benedit, Víctor Grippo, Alfredo Portillos, and Jorge Glusberg formed the Grupo CAyC.
As part of the interdisciplinary activities that were among the CAyC’s earliest priorities after it was founded in1969 (“Qué es el CEAC?”, in Primera Muestra del Centro de Estudios de Arte y Comunicación de la Fundación de Investigación Interdisciplinaria presentada en la Galería Bonino de Buenos Aires [“What is the CEAC?”, First exhibition by the Foundation of Interdisciplinary Research Center for Art and Communication Studies presented at the Galería Bonino in Buenos Aires] in August-September, 1969), the Center began to organize courses and seminars taught by well-known scholars. In 1973, the CAyC’s Escuela de Altos Estudios [School of Higher Education] was founded as an umbrella for activities of this kind.
“Arte de sistemas” was the term coined by Jorge Glusberg to define the various artistic proposals that were developed within CAyC’s sphere of influence. According to this definition, a work was understood as a system of signs which 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 they could each be classified as a system. This meant that the works could theoretically be mass produced or multiplied in some way, which in turn led to questions regarding the relevance of the creative process as compared to the finished product.
The Grupo de los Trece made their official debut on the international stage with their Hacia un Perfil Latinoamericano del Arte exhibition. This same exhibition was later presented in Buenos Aires, in June 1972, where it included a larger selection of works and was called Hacia un Perfil del Arte Latinoamericano [Toward a Profile of Latin American Art].