Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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This document contains an interview with Marta Minujin in El Batacazo [Thud!], presented at the Premio Internacional Torcuato Di Tella [Torcuato Di Tella International Prize]. In it she defines the concept of “suceso plástico” [visual event] as a work that is realized in collaboration with the viewer. She understands that the public’s attitude will overcome the static contemplation required by the easel painting, which she considers definitively dead.

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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 [Center for Art of 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 to award 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.

La Menesunda [Hodgepodge] was an exhibition based on a project 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 interview was selected because it reports on the artist’s opinions regarding the debates that arose from the activities of the Instituto Torcuato Di Tella of Buenos Aires.

Researcher
Lic. Cristina Rossi.
Team
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Location
Universidad Torcuato Di Tella Buenos Aires, Argentina. Archivos Di Tella.