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    Hacia la sociohistoria de nuestra realidad artística / Juan Acha

    Plástica Latinoamericana (San Juan, Puerto Rico) . -- Vol. 1,  no.12 (Sep. 1984)

    p. 21-24
    Journal article – Essays
    Acha, Juan "Hacia la sociohistoria de nuestra realidad artística." Plástica Latinoamericana (San Juan, Puerto Rico), vol. 1,  no.12 (Septiembre 1984): 21-24.
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Juan Acha, the Peruvian critic and historian who has lived in Mexico long time ago, claims that it is a mistake to see art criticism as an appendix to artistic expression. According to Acha, art criticism “should examine artistic reality and extrapolate relevant theories or knowledge by means of realistic criteria [and] renovating concepts.” A distinction should be made between authentic and official Western culture so as to be able to examine modes of seeing and conceptualizing our reality, instead of portraying it through the prism of established European concepts. Acha explains the nature of artistic reality, and goes on to suggest four complementary conceptions to define it based on historical-materialist criteria: historical, cultural, sociopolitical, and relational processes. He concludes that it takes several generations to create concepts that allow us to express our artistic reality.     



This lecture was given at the XVII Congreso Extraordinario de la AICA [17th Extraordinary Conference of the AICA] in Caracas, in September 1983.

This issue of Plástica magazine was devoted to art in Latin America; it was produced by Ernesto Ruiz de la Mata, the Puerto Rican critic, who organized the Centro de Documentación de Arte Latinoamericano [Center for the Documentation of Latin American Art] in Puerto Rico during the 1980s. Some of the articles included in this issue were lectures delivered at various conferences and symposia that were collected here for the first time; other essays were contributed by their authors with no particular subject guidelines. This was the first time that a Puerto Rican magazine addressed the question of contemporary Latin American art.

Plástica magazine, where this review was published, was an art publication that appeared fairly regularly in Puerto Rico. It began modestly enough in 1968, as the newsletter of the Liga de arte de San Juan [San Juan Art League], but changed its name in 1978 to Plástica revista de la Liga de estudiantes de San Juan [San Juan Student League Visual Arts Magazine]. Its very specific title notwithstanding, the twenty-one issues of the magazine explored a wide range of subjects within the broad parameters of Puerto Rican and Latin American art, filling its pages with retrospective coverage of subjects, such as the V Bienal de San Juan del grabado latinoamericano y del Caribe [5th San Juan Biennial of Latin American and Caribbean Prints] (1981), Puerto Rican architecture, and Latin American visual arts. The first editorial board of the magazine included Hélène Saldaña, Delta Picó, Cordelia Buitrago, and J.M. García Segovia. In addition to the many essays written by top Puerto Rican thinkers, the magazine published contributions from some of the leading Latin American artists and critics, such as Luis Camnitzer, Damián Bayón, Jacqueline Barnitz, Samuel Cherson, Joseph Alsop, Omar Rayo, and Ricardo Pau Llosa, among many others.

Flavia Marichal
Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Courtesy of Mahia Biblos, 2011. Private Archive, México, D.F.
Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Río Piedras