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Hans Haacke’s letter shows that he pondered the invitation sent by Gyorgy Kepes and decided not to represent the United States abroad for a pair of reasons: because Americans were supporting an immoral war in Vietnam and a fascist government was implemented in Brazil. Consequently, to avoid being accomplices in these situations, it is necessary to reject any representation of this kind.


Since its inception in 1951, the São Paulo Biennial has been the centralizing focus for the circulation and recognition of Latin American art. Due to the dictatorship affecting Brazil after the 1964 coup, several groups of artists decided to boycott the 10th São Paulo Biennial that was being planned for September 1969. In France, the leader of the boycott was Pierre Restany (1930–2003), a French critic who supported the New Realism, participated in the journal Domus, published in Milan, and presided over the Palais de Tokyo (Paris). Restany was always interested in contemporary art and in a closer connection with Latin American Art.


The German artist Hans Haacke writes to Gyorgy Kepes, who is in charge of organizing the United States Pavilion for the 10th São Paulo Biennial (1969).


This document illustrates the strategies enacted in order to achieve the initiative of the boycott. This source was selected because it documents the reaction of artists of different countries and background, vis-à-vis the regime of censorship, repression, and torture imposed by the dictatorial policies in Latin America.

Cristina Rossi
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Archivo Julio Le Parc, París, Francia.