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María Rosa G. Villar sent this letter to the newspaper Córdoba as a reaction to the commentary made by critic Ernesto Isele that appeared in this same publication under the title “Algo acerca de La Menesunda” [A Few Words About La Menesunda], on September 1965. Among other considerations, Villar does not believe that the show has made any contribution to current civilization; in her estimation, although the installation was very well attended, the public could have gone out of curiosity and then left even more disillusioned [than when they entered.]
The Premio [Prize] Instituto Torcuato Di Tella was established in 1960, a few months after the creation of the Centro de Arte del Instituto Torcuato Di Tella (ITDT). The ITDT was run by a board composed of Lionello Venturi, Ricardo Camino, Guido Di Tella and Jorge Romero Brest. The Centro was dedicated to the dissemination and promotion of the visual arts as well as to maintaining contact with other centers linked to national and foreign production. The Premio ITDT was created within this framework with the intention of awarding opportunities to young Argentinean artists to enrich their experiences abroad. The Premio ITDT not only awarded prizes/scholarships, but also favored the dissemination of international art within the local scene. This made it an important institution for the renewal of the visual arts at the time. The prize was awarded to both national and international artists until 1967, with a few variations according to the given year. Afterwards it became known as the Experiencias Visuales 1968 and Experiencias 1969. In 1963 Romero Brest resigned as director of the Museo National de Bellas Artes and accepted the position of director of the Centro de Artes Visuales of the ITDT.
La Menesunda [The Challenge] was an exhibition born of a project [conceived] by Marta Minujin and Rubén Santantonín, with the collaboration of Pablo Suárez, David Lamelas, Rodolfo Prayón, Floreal Amor and Leopoldo Maler. It took place from May 18 to June 6, 1965. It was composed of various environments that produced different situations: a half-lit room, a dark chamber, a glass capsule with rain made of torn paper, a cold vault, etc. It was conceived within the mood of ¡Revuélquese y viva! [Roll Around and Live!], a work acquired by the ITDT from Minujín in 1964. La Menesunda attracted attention; it also allowed for a consideration of the controversies stirred up by Pop Art in Argentina.
This article was selected because it documents publicity surrounding the activities of the Instituto Torcuato Di Tella of Buenos Aires in Córdoba, especially in relation to the alternatives proposed by La Menesunda, as well as the participation of the readers in the aesthetic debates of the time. It is interesting to observe that [the document] concerns only one of the many letters that declared their disagreement with the article published by Ernesto Isele in the newspaper, Córdoba.