The publication CAL was created in Venezuela in 1962 as an alternative means of artistic and cultural communication and as a forum for debate between different aesthetic ideas akin to the sociopolitical transformations taking place at the time. The journal of criticism, art, and literature was published until 1967; it is still a major reference about the integration of the arts (text, image, and graphic design). CAL is representative of a decade that witnessed upheaval in a number of realms. The Techo de la Ballena—a group of contrarian publications—emerged in the sixties as well. It voiced a sacrilegious position and stood up against the relative democracy of the period in Venezuela; the Techo de la Ballena, which opposed all aspects of CAL, published a wide variety of texts, from “Investigación de las basuras” by Adriano González de León (see ICAA 1060324) to “homenaje a la necrofilia” (868651), a text by Eduardo Robles Piquer (RAS) on the pictorial aspects of the work of Carlos Contramaestre.
Published in the context of a show held at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas Sofía Imber in 1996, this text by Venezuelan curator María Luz Cárdenas (b. 1952) makes patent the significance of CAL at the time of its publication. That show rendered the aim of CAL visible, which was mainly to bring together examples of critical writings from Venezuela in the sixties that addressed the principle concerns and changes taking place at a decisive moment of exchange between the avant-garde, society, and culture. In her text, Cárdenas touches on the reasons why this publication was a project without precedent in terms of cultural communication and debate. CAL was a space of integration that encouraged dialogue in a manner that would not have been possible without a visionary sponsor. The magazine layout highlighted potential connections between levels of discourse. The importance of the magazine’s contributions is clear today in light of the subsequent relationship between art and society in Venezuela.