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  • ICAA Record ID
    Ghilioni, Emilio
    Emilio Ghilioni, Rodolfo Elizalde : 23 al 28 de septiembre
    Rosario, Argentina : [s.n.], Septiembre de 1968
    Loose leaf – Artists’ Statement
    Guillioni, Emilio and Rodolfo Elizalde. "Emilio Ghilioni, Rodolfo Elizalde: 23 al 28 de septiembre," September 1968. Artists' statement. Personal archive of Graciela Carnevale, Rosario.
    Elizalde, Rodolfo

Emilio Ghilioni and Rodolfo Elizalde describe their happening as an endeavor in tandem, the result of endless rounds of critical reexamination of both avant-garde art and the deteriorating state of the traditional nexus between the artwork and the audience. Of particular interest to both artists is the need to expand the public’s range beyond the narrow institutional circuit. Which is why they explore the possibilities of producing proposals of art that invalidate the exhibition space—both galleries and museums—and instead propose a neat, daily language that requires the involvement of the viewer. The result of this exploration is “a disturbance that surprises observers, and convinces them to participate” without realizing that it is all an art project until the very end of the experience when the flier or catalogue is distributed. The exhibition-goer, who becomes involved in the project, is no longer one of the educated, élite devotees who follows the work of avant-garde artists, but a casual observer who is unwittingly and anonymously there. This person is involved in the proposal of art without knowing that it’s a mocking exercise.


The Grupo de Arte de Vanguardia de Rosario—created by a fusion of three workshops, with artists from different artistic organizations (alumni from Juan Grela, the Grupo Taller, and recent graduates of the Escuela de Bellas Artes de la Universidad)—initiates its public collective actions and position statements at the end of 1965. Two years later, the group acquires more cohesion and is acknowledged as one of the most dynamic experimental art groups in the country. The Ciclo de Arte Experimental [Experimental Practices of Art Series], planned for the early 1968, began in May inside a space that was given to the group by an advertising agency. A short time later, the Instituto Di Tella from Buenos Aires granted it a subsidy that allowed the group to rent a small glass space inside a commercial gallery. Every two weeks, until October 1968, the group would stage an exhibition proposed by one of its members.   


The last three presentations of the Ciclo (by Eduardo Favario, Rodolfo Elizalde / EmilioGhilioni, and Graciela Carnevale) were, in some ways, the most radical expression of the group’s anti-formalist and anti-institutional stance.  


The happening presented by Ghilioni and Elizalde consisted of a mock street brawl. Like Favario’s intervention, this action took place outside the gallery—in the street. More than just staging an implicit act of violence against the exhibition space, the two artists became violent with each other. They began with verbal abuse and then exchanged blows. They ripped up their own posters; they were chased by their audience, and finally were surrounded by people who spontaneously decided to try to break up the fight.

Ana Longoni.
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Courtesy of Norma Giorgetti and Emilio Ghilioni, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Courtesy of Rodolfo Elizalde, Santa Fe, Argentina
Archivo Graciela Carnevale, Rosario, Argentina.