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Supported by a quote from André Breton —who himself quoted Karl Marx—, Luis Cardoza y Aragón again refutes the exploitation of art by revolutionaries. The tenets that composed the introductory document of the Congreso de Escritores [Writers’ Conference] convened by the Liga de Escritores y Artistas Revolucionarios (LEAR) [League of Revolutionary Writers and Artists] were reproduced again following an extensive treatise on truth in art. Basing his conclusions on Marxist authorities, including the brief communist infatuation of André Gide, Cardoza states: “There is no art for art, nor science for science, nor revolution for revolution.” Cardoza declared himself in support of the greatest artistic individuality and the least individualism; for the greatest realism although without transposition, vulgarity or falsification; he also opposed the inertia of muralism, wherein the knowledge (Diego Rivera), vigor (José Clemente Orozco) and drawing (Julio Castellanos), are nowhere to be found; thus transforming the pictorial method at that time into a new academy. In a manner reminiscent of a late Estridentista fad, Cardoza exclaimed: “We live in the era of radio, film, and the internal combustion engine.” 

Annotations

Luis Cardoza y Aragón, the Guatemalan intellectual and art critic, wanted to tell his fellow members of the LEAR, Liga de Escritores y Artistas Revolucionarios, that conformism, fanaticism or sectarianism should not prevail over the freedom of creation and thought. His article calls attention to the fact that El Machete, the official organ of the Mexican Communist Party, had been more receptive than the artists’ own organization. 

Despite being harshly criticized for not having participated in a consistent manner, Cardoza states that the best way of doing so is to voice his thoughts: “to tear the dogmatic tranquility.” 

This article was originally published in UO (magazine of the Universidad Obrera) [Workers’ University], in Mexico City, no. 12 (December 1936–January 1937); it was reproduced in Memoria magazine, no. 38 (January 1992).

Researcher
Francisco Reyes Palma : CURARE A. C.
Team
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico
Credit
Courtesy of Fondo Patrimonial En Beneficio De El Colegio de México, A.C., Mexico City, Mexico
Location
Archivo Francisco Reyes Palma