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Synopsis

This article reports on the awards ceremony for the 1968 Braque Prize (sponsored by the French embassy in Argentina). It was interrupted by the actions of “a group of painters and poets” that were members of the Frente Antiimperialista de Trabajadores de la Cultura (FATRAC) [Anti-Imperialist Front of Cultural Workers]. The report reproduces the text of the flyers that were handed out at the same time that rotten eggs were being thrown at the exhibited artworks. The police intervention resulted in approximately ten arrests that the article relates in detail. The article is accompanied by three large photographs in which Rogelio Polesello can be seen receiving first prize from the French ambassador. There are also photographs of Roberto Jacoby and Eduardo Favario being arrested by the police forces.

Annotations

In June 1968, shortly after the French [student strikes in] May, the appearance of a censorship clause in the invitation to participate in the Braque Prize, sponsored by the French Embassy, unleashed a joint reaction from the Rosario (which published and distributed this manifesto) and Buenos Aires cultural vanguard groups. The ruling instructed the invited artists to “point out the possible existence of photos, phrases, or writings that are part of the work.” Furthermore, the organizers reserved the right to “make any changes they might judge necessary.” If the purpose of this clause was to avoid the prize being awarded to works expressing the anti-institutional stand of the emerging vanguard groups of Argentina, the censorship had a boomerang effect. The resigning artists decided to intervene in the awards ceremony on July 16 at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. During twenty very agitated minutes, they threw around FATRAC (Frente Antiimperialista de Trabajadores de la Cultura) flyers, rotten eggs, and stink bombs at the officials and especially at the prizewinning work, which its creator, Rogelio Polesello, had created based on the colors of the French flag. There were physical struggles, thrown punches, and lots of running around inside the museum. Everything came to an end with a strong reaction by the security forces: the police intervened rapidly, closing the entrance doors and arresting nine people, who were sentenced to thirty days in jail.  

 

This article, published in the La Prensa newspaper, details the turbulent incidents of that evening.

Researcher
Ana Longoni
Team
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Location
Archivo Graciela Carnevale, Rosario, Argentina.