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 article summarizes the protest initiated against the authorities by the students at the Escuela de Bellas Artes Prilidiano Pueyrredón [Prilidiano Pueyrredón National School of Fine Arts] in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It argues that the authorities’ actions were “reactionary, ineffective and incompetent.” It also points out that the academic crisis led to the resignation of several officials and the arrest of 139 students. In this regard, the article gives the opinion of Jorge Edgardo Lezama, former president of the school, who resigned on August 6. He believes that the people’s problems are too pressing for him to be spending time reforming “abstract” institutions that provide no immediate material benefit. He also emphasizes that artists must understand this: “To communicate with the people, it is not enough to speak their language.” It is also necessary for both the artists and the people to know what subject is being addressed.
Starting in 1876, the Sociedad Estímulo de Bellas Artes [Association to Promote the Fine Arts] provided arts education and events [for the people of Buenos Aires]. In 1905, a municipal decree transferred the official responsibility for arts education to the Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes [National Academy of Fine Arts]. From then on, the Academy continued that work, though in 1927, its name was changed to the Escuela de Artes Decorativas de la Nación [National School of Decorative Arts]. Still later, it came to be known as the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes Prilidiano Pueyrredón. At different times in Argentine history, students have called for reform of the syllabus. But under the de facto government of Lieutenant General Alejandro Agustín Lanusse (1971-73), student protests took a radical turn, leading to actions that were fiercely put down by the military authorities. La Opinión was an Argentine daily newspaper that maintained a critical stance toward politics and official acts, founded by Jacobo Timerman in 1971. It was closed down in 1977 and expropriated by the de facto government of Lieutenant General Jorge Rafael Videla (1976-81). Hugo Monzón is an Argentine art critic who was the director the Museo de Artes Plásticas Eduardo Sívori and editor of the Arts Section in the newspaper, La Opinión. This document was selected as evidence of the official opinion about the situation of the artist in society, with a special focus on the student protests that grew out of the students’ strong disagreement with art school syllabus.