This newspaper article by Carlos Díaz Sosa explains how and why a work can be seen in radically different ways in two different cultural settings. Whereas the works by Venezuelan Geometric Abstract and Kinetic artists were viewed in Venezuela as expressions of an authoritarian art (because of the use of geometric forms and repetitive structures that first made an appearance during the military dictatorship of Marcos Pérez Jiménez and in the grand urban infrastructure projects undertaken while democratic governments were in power), exactly the opposite happened in France, where they were welcomed with great interest. There was an undercurrent of solidarity that had been created by the Cuban Revolution, which Cruz-Diez passionately supported. The mood in France at the time was driven by the election of a socialist president, François Mitterrand. That mood helped to launch and support a movement to create a participatory kind of art, in which the author and the viewer each played an important part in the creation of a visual event. In those days that was considered a revolutionary statement, not just because it was radically new but also because it broke down the traditional barriers that separated creators from their viewers. It is no coincidence that the Fête de la rose, organized by the PSF (French Socialist Party), wanted to be associated with a form of art that encouraged group participation and the production of artistic projects in urban spaces, just a year after the historic electoral victory.
This ran counter to the biased response in Venezuela to those works, which left-wing movements (a dominant force in cultural circles) condemned as a coldly technological kind of art that was, therefore, associated with industry and capital. Cruz-Diez was acutely aware of this perception and always tried to make sure that his public image was associated with the Cuban Revolution and the left in general; to oppose it would have been problematic in France during the period spanning the 1960s through the 1980s.
This largely helps to explain why the activities during the three days of public festivities were focused on group participation rather than on the creativity of a particular artist. It was a chance to break down the barriers between creators and viewers, between governing class and citizens, between the elite and the common people. Looking beyond this generous ideological idea, we might wonder if the artists in question were fully aware of the way they and their works were being exploited by the dominant political powers at the time. When shared interests are in play, what might look like exploitation from the outside can be seen from the inside as merely selfless compromise.