Isabel Cristina Calcaño, the journalist from the Daily Journal (an English-language newspaper published in Caracas), interviews the Venezuelan Kinetic artist after he was awarded the Officier des Arts et des Lettres prize by the French government, a high-profile recognition in France. Despite the importance of this acknowledgement and the journalist’s evident interest in that event, Carlos Cruz-Diez (1923–2017) would rather talk about his current and future art projects: “They give me a badge, you know.”
The journalist notes that Cruz-Diez jokes about the prize, taking it less seriously than some of his other achievements, since his work is what is most important to him. She recalls the Venezuelan artist’s historic role in the birth of European Kinetic art, and then goes on to talk about his present and future projects. They mention the Plaza Bolívar, in Montevideo, which Cruz-Diez conceives as a symbolic statement located in a high activity area. He says that it will be a vertical monument in the shape of a “V,” for Venezuela, which will face the northern part of the city. To the south will be a park endowed with many paths and walkways.
Cruz-Diez’s most important project—a monumental work at the El Guri dam—will stand the test of time because it will provide substantial benefits to the country as well as being a work of art. It will involve coating the turbines with colors and creating a huge forty-foot mural in the machine room. The artist collaborated with North American engineers and Edelca, the Venezuelan company building the dam, to ensure that the work would not interfere with the operation of the turbines and that their maintenance would not damage the work created in honor of the Guri peoples. They mention the tribute to peace in Hiroshima, Japan, that Cruz-Diez is working on with four other artists, each one from a different continent. They also discuss Analys-Art, the multilanguage magazine that Cruz-Diez envisions as the voice of Venezuela speaking to the world.