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.
Jorge Romero Brest points out that in the Experiencias 1968 [1968 Practices], young artists tried to raise the problem of creation in terms that were almost extreme, presenting crucial situations that depart from traditional “artwork” only by a lack of image representation. The critic explains that the term experiencia [happening] alludes to the fact that the works are neither finished nor definitive, but instead dynamic creative projects for the observer. Romero Brest ends by asking himself: If the Instituto is truly a center for experimentation why not give the young artists the opportunity to express themselves?
The Premio Instituto Torcuato Di Tella [Torcuato Di Tella Institute Award] was established in 1960, a few months after the creation of the Centro de Arte del Instituto Torcuato Di Tella (ITDT) [The Art Center at the Torcuato Di Tella Institute]. The latter organization 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 renaissance 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. In 1967 it became known as the Experiencias Visuales [Visual Practices]. Later, in 1968 and 1969 it became known solely as Experiencias [Practices]. In 1963 Romero Brest resigned as director of the Museo National de Bellas Artes [The National Museum of Fine Arts] and accepted the position of director of the Centro de Artes Visuales of the ITDT. In 1968 the artists Rodolfo Azaro, Oscar Bony, Delia Cancela, Pablo Mesejean, Jorge Carballa, Roberto Jacoby, David Lamelas, Margarita Paksa, Roberto Plate, Pablo Suárez, Juan Stoppani, Antonio Trotta and Alfredo Rodríguez Arias were invited to participate in the Experiencias 68. Roberto Plate’s work Baño [Bathroom] simulated a public restroom for men and women; visitors could write graffiti on the walls within. Given that the authorities closed the installation, the artists participating in the Experiencias 68 [1968 Practices] decided to withdraw and—together with other artists—signed a declaration against the measure. This article was selected because it documents the words of the Jorge Romero Brest, as he clarified the conception of the practices in the terminology of artistic language. Note that on the same day, the director of the Instituto Torcuato Di Tella, Enrique Oteiza, received the information regarding the police proceedings instigated by the happenings.