Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

CGT, the official weekly journal of the CGT de los Argentinos [the CGT of the Argentine people]?the labor union that opposed the dictatorship of Lieutenant General Juan Carlos Onganía (1966-70)?directed by Rodolfo Walsh, the writer and journalist, published a report on the events that occurred at the awards ceremony of the Braque Prize which led to the arrest of several of the artists involved. The article indicated that many of the artists had taken part in the struggle against the dictatorship, which explained the publication’s feelings of solidarity with those who had “joined forces with the great army of the people.”

Annotations

In June 1968, following the events that had occurred in France in May, a note of censorship in the invitation issued by the French Embassy concerning the Braque Prize provoked a reaction from the artistic avant-garde in Rosario and Buenos Aires. The invited artists were required to “provide examples of any photos, captions, or written material that was to be included in the works they submitted.” The organizers reserved the right to “make any changes they deemed necessary” to the works. If the goal had been to avoid the possibility that the Prize might be used as a forum for the anti-institutional approach that had recently been adopted by the avant-garde, the intended censorship had a boomerang effect. The artists who protested the decision decided to disrupt the awards ceremony, which was held on July 16 at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. For twenty chaotic minutes, they hurled leaflets promoting the FATRAC (Frente Antiimperialista de Trabajadores de la Cultura [Culture Workers’ Anti-Imperialist Front]), rotten eggs, and stink bombs at museum employees and at the prize-winning work–which featured the colors of the French flag–and its creator, Rogelio Polesello. People scuffled, and the museum was in an uproar. Security forces were summoned and the police soon intervened, closing the doors and arresting nine people, who were later sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Researcher
Ana Longoni
Team
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Location
CeDInCI (Centro de Documentación e Investigación de la Cultura de Izquierdas en Argentina), Buenos Aires, Argentina.