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This text introduces the conferences organized by Eduardo González Lanuza at Galería PROAR. His intention is not to speak from an aesthetic point of view on La Menesunda [Hodgepodge] but rather of Jorge Romero Brest’s conference held on June 11, 1965. The purpose was to argue against the propositions made by Romero Brest from the same platform. After being refused access to the Galleries of the Instituto Torcuato Di Tella [Torcuato Di Tella Institute], Lanuza looked for another site and thus offered his conference at the Galería PROAR. According to González Lanuza, both social realism and Pop art were two versions, one communist and the other capitalist, of the same reactionary phenomenon.
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 ITDT Prize 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 revival 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. La Menesunda [Hodgepodge] was an exhibition based on 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 spirit 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 the alternatives raised by La Menesunda, in this case based on the opinions of critic and writer Eduardo González Lanuza. It is interesting to note that the conference text also circulated freely given that it was immediately published on August 20, 1965. It also relevant to observe that in Arte visual en el Di Tella [Visual Art at Di Tella] (Emecé, 1992, p. 79), Romero Brest regretted his decision to deny Lanuza permission to speak at the Centro de Artes Visuales.