Plástica Latinoamericana (San Juan, Puerto Rico). -- Vol. 1, no. 12 (Sept. 1984)
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The Argentine critic Jorge Romero Brest states that he generally agrees with the lecture that Juan Acha gave at the XVII Congreso Extraordinario de la AICA [17th Extraordinary Conference of the AICA], held in Caracas in 1983. However, Romero Brest believes that when a country or a society lacks an aesthetic conscience, it is absolutely devoid of art, and in his opinion, this is the major problem facing Latin America. He stresses that it is important to think about the question of an aesthetic conscience and an artistic conscience, because the latter is an intrinsic component of all human activity. Furthermore, there is a clear problem of cultural illiteracy, and a lack of information and depth that must be analyzed together in order to overcome the problem through the conduit of humanism.
This lecture was given at the XVII Congreso de la AICA [17th Conference of the AICA] held 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.