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.
The author reveals a certain openness when he suggests that the experience created by the avant-garde of Rosario, Argentina, that led to Tucumán Arde [Tucumán is Burning] could be a potential bridge to what he considers the only valid “revolutionary avant-garde”?the Communist Party. By referring to the Italian theoretician Galvano della Volpe’s biased view of the avant-garde, Bignami advocates a distinction between one formalist avant-garde?of decadence and decoration (as exemplified by his referral to Julio Le Parc)?and another that follows in the steps of Bertold Brecht, Vladimir Maiakovsky, or Sergei Eisenstein, that was in fact being updated at that time by the ideas of Italian Communist artists such as Edoardo Sanguinetti and Luigi Nono. In Bignami’s opinion, Tucumán Arde describes an arc that connects the first avant-gardes to the second. Two issues stand out here. The first, concerning the acknowledgement of the avant-garde from the Communist perspective, is in stark contrast to his negative view (decadence or degeneration) expressed in earlier decades, when the prevalent debate pitted realism against abstraction. The second important issue concerns the distinction made by the author between the artists in Buenos Aires and those in Rosario; in his opinion he only sees signs of positive evolution in the latter group.
Tucumán Arde, the best-known group event ever produced by the avant-garde of both Buenos Aires and Rosario, took place in 1968, when radical political and artistic unrest came to a head in various parts of the world. The event involved a complex combination of research, counter-information, and a massive public awareness campaign. The immediate repercussions of the event were huge, as can be confirmed in a number of newspaper articles, many of which appeared in labor union and political publications. They include this lengthy article, published in 1969 in Cuadernos de Cultura [CultureNotebooks] and signed by A.B. (Ariel Bignami), who at that time was the editorial secretary of the magazine, where Héctor Agosti was the editor. For over two decades, Cuadernos de Cultura was the official cultural magazine of the Argentine Communist Party. Whereas the Party had, in general, been hostile to the avant-garde during the 1960s, it is interesting to note that here, in contrast, Bignami looks favorably on the direction taken by those artists.