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This text summarizes the first class given by Jorge Romero Brest in response to the request of the Departamento de Adherentes at the Instituto Torcuato Di Tella [Department of Adherents at the Torcuato Di Tella Institute]. In this class, the critic Romero Brest developed the theme of rebellion as an impulse of all creative acts; he also pointed out that rebels should respect guidelines within the framework of social organization, but on the level of social fermentation, they should intentionally destroy them without constructing others. In conclusion he argues that many discrepancies arise from the confusion that exists between these two contexts.
Jorge Romero Brest (1905-1989) was a professor, critic, and promoter of the visual arts in Argentina. During the regime of Juan Domingo Perón (1895-1974) he was relieved of his academic duties and became the director of Ver y estimar [To See and Ponder] magazine. Later on, the de facto government that overthrew Perón on September 16, 1955, which called itself the Revolución Libertadora, named Romero Brest the administrator of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes [The National Museum of Fine Arts] of Buenos Aires. In 1956 he became the director of the Museum, a post he held until 1963. During the 1960s, he directed the Centro de Artes Visuales del Instituto Torcuato Di Tella [Torcuato Di Tella Institute’s Center for Visual Arts]. The Ver y estimar [To See and Ponder] editorial project was undertaken with the support of his students as an offshoot of the art history classes that Brest taught after being removed from his position as professor during the Peronist regime.
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 [The Art Center at the Torcuato Di Tella Institute] (ITDT). 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 Premio ITDT was created within this framework with the intention of awarding opportunities to young Argentinean artists to enrich their experiences abroad. The Premio ITDT 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 of the ITDT. In 1966 the Premio ITDT was solely national in scope. The Experiencias 68 were held in 1968; the invited artists were Rodolfo Azaro, Oscar Bony, Delia Cancela y Pablo Mesejean, Jorge Carballa, Roberto Jacoby, David Lamelas, Margarita Paksa, Roberto Plate, Pablo Suárez, Juan Stoppani, Antonio Trotta and Alfredo Rodríguez Arias.This article corresponds to one of the classes offered in September 1968 under the title "Impugnación y rebeldía en el arte y fuera del arte" ["Challenge and rebelliousness within and outside of art"]. During the class Romero Brest discussed the forms of submission for the artist and the observer as well as the process of reification and de-reification in art.