Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

This entire issue of the magazine Ovum 10 is dedicated to a report on Tucumán Arde [Tucumán is Burning]. The brief introduction, which precedes the documentary anthology, presents the work as “one of the most important and explosive actions carried out by the Latin American avant-garde.” As well as being “a landmark in the development of contemporary art: it moves the artistic object away from its unique, individual, and aestheticizing status toward collective, political, and change-producing action at the service of the rising forces of history. The following documents are reproduced directly after the introduction: the chronology of the Itinerario de ‘68 [Timetable for 1968], the letter by Pablo Suárez to Jorge Romero Brest, director of the Centro de Artes Visuales del Instituto Di Tella, Roberto Jacoby’s manifesto Mensaje en Di Tella, [Message at Di Tella Institute], the flyer distributed by Eduardo Ruano at the inauguration of Experiencias 1968 [The 1968 Visual Practices]. the Rosario manifesto “Siempre es tiempo de no ser cómplices” [It is always the time to not be complicit] (which appears without title), the final declaration regarding censorship of the artists participating in Experiencias 1968 which was read during the interruption of Jorge Romero Brest’s lecture at the Asociación Amigos del Arte de Rosario, the press release issued by FATRAC (Frente Antimperialista de Trabajadored de la Cultura) [Anti-Imperialist Front of Cultural Workers] regarding the 1968 Braque Prize that was sponsored by the French embassy of Argentina, the description of Tucumán Arde’s stages along with the text titled “Propaganda” wherein the goals of the artwork were presented, the declaration that accompanied the Tucumán Arde exhibition in Buenos Aires (also known as “Declaración del Comité de Artistas Argentintos”), Bishop Ferro’s letter that was copied and distributed during the Tucumán Arde shows and, finally, the declaration that accompanied the show in Rosario. (The first two of the above-mentioned documents were retranslated from the French versions that appeared in Robho magazine.) There are alterations from the original versions of various documents; these can be attributed to the retranslation from the French that resulted in transcription errors.

Annotations

Tucumán Arde [Tucumán Is Burning] is the most famous collective production of emerging vanguard art in Argentina, both in Buenos Aires and Rosario, and it took place at the turning point of the artists’ political and artistic radicalization in 1968. Its design implied a complex process of research and counter-information as well as a mass-media campaign. Its immediate repercussions were vast; this can be verified through the numerous newspaper articles, both local and international, that reported on the exhibition.

 

Both the circulation reached by the materials published in Sobre [Envelop] as well as the dispatch abroad of selected documents prepared by the Rosario authors between 1970 and 1971 gave rise to the publication of three reports in foreign journals; these latter were devoted to the Itinerario del ’68 [Timetable for 1968].

 

The third report appeared in Montevideo in the magazine Ovum 10 (edited by the visual poet Clemente Padín, in the issue wholly dedicated to Tucumán Arde and the Itinerario del ’68. The documents that figure within were—in some cases—retranslated into Spanish from the version that appeared in the French magazine Robho. In other cases, they were transcriptions of the original documents that Padín had obtained from Carlos Schork, one of the Rosario artists that participated in Tucumán Arde.

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