The word etsedron is a palindrome of the word nordeste, the Portuguese word for northeast, the region of Brazil that the group of artists known by that name represented. The members of the group, which was active in Bahia from 1969 to 1979, included Edison da Luz, Matilde Matos, Palmiro Cruz, Chico Diabo, and Joel Estácio. Their environmentally oriented projects encompassed a number of artistic disciplines, such as the visual arts, music, theater, and dance. The Etsedron group took part in the 1971, 1973, 1975, and 1977 São Paulo Biennials. Aracy A. Amaral, author of this article, has delivered papers on the importance of this group’s destabilizing anti-aesthetic at a number of conferences and colloquia, including what is known as the Austin Symposium, organized by Damián C. Bayón at the University of Texas at Austin in 1975.
Aracy A. Amaral (b. 1930) has a great deal of experience in art administration, and in academic and curatorial practice. She was the director of the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo from 1975 to 1979, and the Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo (MAC-USP) from 1982 to 1986. She is currently a full professor of art history at the Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo da Universidade de São Paulo (FAU-USP). The many books she has written on Brazilian art include: Tarsila, sua obra e seu tempo (São Paulo: Editora 34/EDUSP, 2010); Textos do Trópico de Capricórnio—artigos e ensaios (1980–2005),3 vols. (São Paulo: Editora 34, 2006); Arte para quê? A preocupação social na arte brasileira 1930–1970 (São Paulo: Nobel, 2003); and Artes Plásticas na Semana de 22 (São Paulo: Perspectiva, 1970).
For related texts, see Aracy Amaral’s “Etsedron, una forma de violencia” ; Juan Acha’s “Etsedrón: respuesta a Aracy A. Amaral” ; María Luisa Torrens’ “Etsedrón o la carencia de interés libidinoso por la realidad” ; and Manuel Felguérez’s “La necesaria pluralidad del arte latinoamericano” .
For additional information, see “The Etsedron Debate: The 13th São Paulo Biennial, October 1975,” in Héctor Olea, Mari Carmen Ramírez, and Tomás Ybarra-Frausto, Critical Documents of 20th-Century Latin American and Latino Art, Vol.1, Resisting Categories: Latin American and/or Latino? (Houston: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston/International Center for the Arts of the Americas, 2012), pp. 753−66.