Conceptualism in Latin American Art: Didactics of Liberation

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University of Texas Press, Jul 1, 2007 - Art - 347 pages
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Conceptualism played a different role in Latin American art during the 1960s and 1970s than in Europe and the United States, where conceptualist artists predominantly sought to challenge the primacy of the art object and art institutions, as well as the commercialization of art. Latin American artists turned to conceptualism as a vehicle for radically questioning the very nature of art itself, as well as art's role in responding to societal needs and crises in conjunction with politics, poetry, and pedagogy. Because of this distinctive agenda, Latin American conceptualism must be viewed and understood in its own right, not as a derivative of Euroamerican models.

In this book, one of Latin America's foremost conceptualist artists, Luis Camnitzer, offers a firsthand account of conceptualism in Latin American art. Placing the evolution of conceptualism within the history Latin America, he explores conceptualism as a strategy, rather than a style, in Latin American culture. He shows how the roots of conceptualism reach back to the early nineteenth century in the work of Símon Rodríguez, Símon Bolívar's tutor. Camnitzer then follows conceptualism to the point where art crossed into politics, as with the Argentinian group Tucumán arde in 1968, and where politics crossed into art, as with the Tupamaro movement in Uruguay during the 1960s and early 1970s. Camnitzer concludes by investigating how, after 1970, conceptualist manifestations returned to the fold of more conventional art and describes some of the consequences that followed when art evolved from being a political tool to become what is known as "political art."

 

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Contents

Introduction i
4
Salpicón Medley and Compota Sweetmeats
9
Agitation or Construction?
16
Indefinitions and Differences 2 2
22
4 Conceptual Art and Conceptualism in Latin America 2
32
5 Simon Rodriguez
37
The Tupamaros
44
Politics in Art
60
14 The Markers of Latin American Conceptualism 15 3
153
15 Postpoetry
162
Postfiguration
171
17 Postpolitics
186
The Destruction and Survival of Locality
209
19 From Politics to Identity
214
Diaspora
223
The Historical Unfitting
245

The Aftermath of Tucumdn arde
74
9 Figuration Abstraction and Meanings 9 3
93
The Intellectual Context
102
The Input of Pedagogy
109
The Importance of Literature
116
13 Poetry and Literature
131
From Politics into Spectacle and Beyond
252
23 Beyond Art
259
Notes
267
Bibliography
311
Index
327
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About the author (2007)

Luis Camnitzer is Professor Emeritus of Art at SUNY Old Westbury.

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