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.
Sigwart Blum developed in these notes the relationship between ancient cultures and dualism in nature. He even analyzed symbols as discharged energy, continually active for thousands of years and surfacing in everyday situations. He linked Líbero Badii’s work with art from the Inca Empire and then went on to define lo siniestro [what is sinister] as being “the original impulse that determines the work, so much and more than the environment in which the artist lives.” In his reading of Badii, lo siniestro was a “continuous flow.” On the other hand, Blum examined the protective symbols of Latin American cultures. He held that the argument in Badii’s works implies the four cardinal points as his own spatial expression, giving form in this way to an entire cosmology. The critic predicted that in the course of a cyclical process, the art of the future would abandon being imitative in order to become symbolic.
Líbero Badii (Arezzo, Italy, 1916–Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2001) developed principally a sculpture of symbolic meaning. In the 1950s, after traveling throughout Latin America, his work was influenced by the pre-Columbian art form. Badii elaborated on “the sinister” concept, as being a form both of knowledge as well as feeling. He named his workspace Almataller [Soul-Shop].
Sigwart Blum was born in Germany in 1906; he came to Argentina in 1936 as an immigrant. He was a photographer, in addition to being an art critic for the German-language newspaper of Buenos Aires Argentinisches Tageblatt [The Daily Argentinean].
This essay is central to understanding the relationship between the notion of “sinister art” developed by Libero Badii and American pre-Columbian culture.