The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
This text provides information regarding the measures imposed upon Brazilian culture after the state coup of 1964. It particularly refers to the actions derived from the Institutional Act No. 5, dated December 13, 1968. Once the Parliament was dismissed, the media was censored, and the universities were closed down, hundreds of professors, intellectuals, and artists were laid off, singers, actors, film producers, and students were persecuted, the population was subjected to a policy of degradation. Under these circumstances the Secretariat of the Sao Paulo Biennial sent a letter to the foreign commissioners, begging them not to send immoral or subversive works. The Culture Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave orders that the exhibits displayed at the Museo de Arte Moderno de Rio de Janeiro [The Museum of Modern Art] be removed because the photographs by Evandro Texeira and the engraving by Antonio Manuel referred to the student movements, a subject matter considered illegal and subversive by the regime.
Since its inception in 1951, the Sao Paulo Biennial has been a centralizing focus for the circulation and recognition of Latin American art. Due to the dictatorship ruling in Brazil after the coup of 1964, several groups of artists decided to boycott the Tenth Sao Paulo Biennial, which 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, collaborated in the journal Domus published in Milan, and presided over the Palais de Tokyo [Tokyo Palace]. Restany was always interested in contemporary art, and in a closer connection with Latin American art. This document records the flow of information regarding the political situation prevalent in Brazil, and the measures taken in the field of culture. This source was selected because it is a testimony to the strategies articulated by artists vis-à-vis a regime of censorship, repression, and torture, imposed by the dictatorial regimes in Latin America.