Margins and Institutions. Art in Chile Since 1973, by the theorist and cultural critic Nelly Richard (b. 1948), is one of the most significant readings of neo-avant-garde art produced in Chile during the repressive period (1986). It is important because of the way the author organizes her review in 9 chapters: “Ellipsis and Metaphor;” “The Photographic Condition;” “The Scene of Writing;” “The Dimension of Social Exteriority in the Production of Art;” “Return to the pleasurable” [see the ICAA Digital Archive (743686)]; “The Displacement of Supports and the Eradication of the Boundaries between Genres;” “The Problematic of Latin American Art;” “History and Memories;” and “Rhetoric of the Body” [see (744815)]. While not pretending to be a history of art in Chile, this book has become a reference work that offers a sweeping review of the period in question. In 1981, Richard published “Una mirada sobre el arte en Chile” [An Overview of Art in Chile] (730121) which included articles she then edited extensively for this book.
The book was distributed in Australia as a special bilingual issue of the international magazine Art and Text (Melbourne/New York). In order to contextualize the book for an audience that was unfamiliar with conditions in Chile, Richard and the audiovisual producer Juan Forch (b. 1948) created the video Arte en Chile: Contexto e Intervenciones [Art in Chile: Context and Interventions] (20 min.). The video was divided into 5 sections and included a sort of brief summary of what had happened in Chile in 1985 shown through actions, interviews, exhibitions, and seminars. The exhibition Art in Chile: An Audiovisual Documentation included slides of artworks, photographs, and publications related to historical social conditions and the art field in Chile. Contributors included the art historian Gaspar Galaz (b. 1941), the artist Gonzalo Díaz (b. 1947), the anthropologist Sonia Montecino (b. 1954), and the photographer Ana María López. It was part of the traveling program created to promote the launch of the book in five Australian cities through the Australian Experimental Art Foundation of Adelaide.
The same open, critical thinking that was encouraged in Margins and Institutions was also on display at the seminar that was organized the following year in Chile to discuss the book’s theses from a range of different perspectives. Artists representing the Avanzada movement participated in the seminar, as did their contemporaries and intellectuals from the field of social sciences. The event, Arte en Chile desde 1973. Escena de Avanzada y sociedad, was organized by FLACSO (Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencia Sociales), the Galería Visuala, and Francisco Zegers Editor. The texts presented, which were published in FLACSO’s Document Nº 46, chronicled a “discussion about Chilean avant-garde art after 1973.” [All the texts from the seminar are available, including: “Desmontaje y recomposición” (738607) by Norbert Lechner; “Algunas observaciones sobre la crítica de arte en Chile” (741244) by Bernardo Subercaseaux; “Yacer incubada oval en la fotografía” (738611) by Diamela Eltit; and “La escritura crítica y su efecto: una reflexión preliminar” (738636) by Adriana Valdés].