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.
Dutch artist Karel Appel—founder of the COBRA (COpenhagen-BRussels-Amsterdam) group—explains in this interview his interest in accomplishing a mural with the participation of the inhabitants of Villa El Salvador, the largest “young town” (slum) in Lima, consisting mostly of internal immigration from nearby provinces. The Dutch artist was convinced that his visual project would demonstrate that “any population is capable of creating art if provided with the specific guidelines.” Appel promoted free expression and felt this would be exemplified by painting the mural in search of a “new social order” and lamented over the yoke held by monetary gain versus talent and creativity.
This was the first interview given by Karel Appel in Peru. Appel was an artist driven by choices of free-will inherent to the COBRA group, and while visiting Peru was strongly attracted to the social reforms imposed by the nationalist military government in the Andean country. Appel tried working directly with the self-managed community on his mural, however, it resulted controversial and within a few years was destroyed. It should be noted that the article mentioned the German photographer Marianne Ryzek who was associated with the E.P.S. Huayco workshop between 1980 and 1981. Ryzek produced important photographic records on some of the most important work done by members of Huayco, a crucial example in the later development of Peruvian visual arts. [For further reading, please refer to the ICAA digital archive for the following texts: [“El retablo es ‘Folclor Dadá’ y es arte, opinó plástico holandés Karel Appel: ‘lo que vio en la Escuela de Artes Plásticas no era arte’, dijo…”] (without author) (doc. no. 865535); “Pintores peruanos continuarán labor del artista Karel Appel” by Felipe Adrianzén (doc. no. 865553); and “Villa El Salvador: Kerouaciana” by Karel Appel himself (doc. no. 1052138)].