Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

The group of artists who were members of the Surrealist group El Mirador Azul [Blue Lookout Point] used to gather at the home of Adna Rodríguez in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, where they would write down phrases and sentences on random subjects that occurred to them. For example, at a gathering held on Sunday, April 29, 1956—attended by the artists Francés del Valle, Víctor Sánchez, José Luis Lima y Haydée, Roberto Alberty, Selma de Jesús, Ernesto Ruiz de la Mata, and Adna Rodríguez—the following phrases were proposed: “angels do not know how to race bicycles” and “a hypnotic light penetrated his entrails.”

Annotations

Eugenio Fernández Granell (1912–2001) left his home town of La Coruña in 1939 at the end of the Spanish Civil War. He spent some time in the Dominican Republic where he had a life-changing experience in 1941—he met André Breton, the founder of the European Surrealist movement. Granell arrived in Puerto Rico in 1950, not long before he joined the faculty of the humanities (Department of Fine Arts) at the University of Puerto Rico. In 1956 he and some of his students formed the group, El Mirador Azul [The Blue Lookout Point], as a vehicle for promoting Surrealism, which at the time they saw as the only means of breaking completely with both the establishment and the avant-garde. Following Surrealist ideology, the group invented games and organized events. They gathered at different places to pose random questions that they answered with whatever occurred to them at the time as though the answers were supplied by the unconscious, in imitation of “le jeu du cadavre esquís…” [the game of the exquisite corpse].

Researcher
Flavia Marichal Lugo
Team
Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Credit
Courtesy of Frances del Valle, Rio Piedras, PR
Location
Colección de las Artes, Biblioteca General, UPR- Río Piedras