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Synopsis

This document is a letter written by Enrique Oteiza, in his function as director of the Instituto Torcuato Di Tella [Torcuato Di Tella Institute], to the Editor–in-Chief of the newspaper Clarín [Bugle], Oscar Camilión. In it he expresses his concern over a report that appeared in the [newspaper’s] morning edition concerning the decision taken by a group of artists to withdraw their works from the exhibition. Oteiza explains that this act of protest was taken against all those “who used force to maintain their cultural preferences.” He adds that those errors committed by the [newspaper] are worrisome because they serve to incite “certain authorities toward repression.” He also emphasizes that the published report appears to have been written by a chief of the provincial police, rather than someone familiar with the art world.

Annotations

The Premio Instituto Torcuato Di Tella [Torcuato Di Tella Institute Prize] 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 Torcuata 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 Prize ITDT was created to award opportunities to young Argentinean artists to enrich their experiences abroad. The prize 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 [National Museum of Fine Arts] and accepted the position of director of the Centro de Artes Visuales [Center of Visual Arts] 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 [The 1968 Practices].

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 decided to withdraw and—together with other artists—signed a declaration against the measure. This article documents the actions taken by the press to report on the police proceeding.

Enrique Oteiza, an engineer, was the Executive Director of the Instituto Di Tella during these events.  In this document he states his concern over the content of the newspaper’s report as well as its title “Nuevo incidente hippie” [“New Hippie Incident”].

Researcher
Lic. Cristina Rossi.
Team
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Credit
Courtesy of Archivo di Tella, Universidad Torcuato di Tella, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Location
Universidad Torcuato Di Tella Buenos Aires, Argentina. Archivos Di Tella.