Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

Written in a mocking, ironic tone, this article describes the details of a supposed happening that never actually happenedincluding where it took place, who was there, what they were doing, etc. A strange item is mentioned: the happening was supposed to have been celebrated on a national holiday. Other than that, the article simply repeats the sort of things that journalists usually said when they described happenings?and, in fact, experimental art events of all kinds at that point in time?and portrays the occasion as a frivolous celebration for snobs.

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Among the Argentine avant-garde who experimented with mass-communication media, it is interesting to note the work of a core group of artists and theoreticians: Eduardo Costa (1940-), Roberto Jacoby (1944-), and Raúl Escari. This group’s founding manifesto is now recognized as a crucial document concerning the beginning of conceptual art, not just in Argentina but in the whole world. In 1966 they proposed the creation of a “new genre” which they called “Art for mass-communication media.” Their first work, known as El antihappening [The Anti-happening] consisted of inventing an event that would be reported in the major media. Based on the idea that the media create events (which was quite an advanced concept for the period), the participants in this project used news items, rigged photos, and apocryphal testimonials to report on a happening that never actually happened. Several media published the report of the event, which was eventually denied by the group.   This article, which was published in a relevant literary magazine directed by Abelardo Castillo, reports on the extent to which false information is disseminated across a wide variety of media.

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.