Tag Archives: Argentina

Featured Exhibitions: Lucio Fontana. On the Threshold, Met Breuer/Lucio Fontana: Spatial Environment (1968), El Museo del Barrio, New York, until 14 April 2019

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Spatial Concept, The Bread (Concetto Spaziale, Il Pane) Lucio Fontana (Italian, 1899–1968) | Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Milan

The first major survey of Lucio Fontana (1899–1968) in the United States in more than forty years, this exhibition will reexamine the career of one of the most innovative artists of the twentieth century. The Argentine-Italian artist is widely known for his Cuts series, slashed paintings that became symbols of the postwar era. The exhibition will present extraordinary examples of this iconic body of work. It will also explore Fontana’s beginnings as a sculptor, including his exquisite work in ceramic, as well as his pioneering environments, contextualizing the radical gesture of his Cuts as part of the artist’s broader search to integrate the space of art and the space of the viewer.

Click here for more information.

Another striking work by Fontana will is on show at El Museo del Barrio during the run of the Met exhibition. Presented at Documenta 4 in Kassel, Germany, in 1968, Spatial Environment [Ambiente Spaziale] is an immersive, all-white, labyrinthine work of art conceived in relation to the artist’s innovative Spatialism movement.

Click here for more information.

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Images: Lucio Fontana, Ambiente spaziale in Documenta 4, a Kassel, 1968/2017, installation view at Pirelli, HangarBicocca, Milan, 2017. Courtesy Pirelli, HangarBicocca, Milan. ©Fondazione Lucio Fontana | Photo: Lorenzo Palmieri

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ARTES Coll & Cortés Travel Scholarship Report

Elizabeth Chant, report on a trip to Madrid, Simancas, and Seville, April-May 2018

NB: the deadline for applications for travel scholarships in 2019 is 31st January!

Thanks to the generosity of Coll & Cortés and ARTES, earlier this year I was able to visit Spain in order to conduct essential research for my doctoral thesis. My work explores the development of geographical understandings of Patagonia, initially in the Spanish Empire, and later in Argentina and Chile. I use a range of cultural media including literature, historical correspondence, and cartography, the latter being the focus of this trip. Spanish imperial maps of Patagonia tell a complex story of colonial violence, indigenous resistance, and contested sovereignty. They are central to the establishment and maintenance of Euro-Western Patagonian mythologies of barbarity and desolation. They also shed light on the origins of Argentina and Chile’s expansionist aims in the 19th century, another key consideration of my project.

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Spain’s initial efforts to establish a settlement in Patagonia during the 1580s were gravely unsuccessful. A second large-scale attempt was fielded beginning in 1779 on the Atlantic coast of modern-day Argentina, and this event heralded a renewed cartographic interest in the region. I set out to consult the materials produced in the wake of said project during my time in Spain. Through this research, I wanted to amplify my cartographic corpus, and to better understand the pressing need for geographical information at this crucial juncture prior to Argentinean and Chilean independence.

 

I began by visiting the Archive of the Museo Naval in Madrid. This was particularly useful for gathering primary cartographic materials. The highlight of my whole trip was finding eminent Spanish Pilot Alejo Berlinguero’s 1796 Descripción geográfica de las costas patagónicas… here. I was aware of Berlinguero’s watercolours painted during his voyage to Patagonia in the 1760s, but I did not know that he had produced a complete map of the region. It is without doubt one of the most important cartographic depictions of Patagonia to exist prior to Argentine and Chilean independence. Produced in the aftermath of Spain’s second colonisation project, it maps the region in considerable detail, and is telling of the urgent need for accurate information regarding the Patagonian interior. This map has become one of the focal pieces in the first chapter of my PhD, and I am extremely grateful to both Coll and Cortés and ARTES for enabling me to locate it.

After Madrid, I went to the Archivo General de Simancas, Valladolid and then to the Archivo General de Indias, Seville. In these locations, I was looking for information regarding another important Spanish map of Patagonia, José Custodio de Sá y Faría’s 1786 Descripción geográfica de la costa patagónica…, an important companion piece to Berlinguero’s portrayal. Both of these archives house copies of said map. Consulting the corresponding documentation has been essential for understanding its context of production, and for comprehending the profound Spanish concerns regarding sovereignty in both Patagonia and the wider mar del Sur. I was able to read the accompanying letters that Sá y Faría sent to the then-Viceroy of Buenos Aires, the Marquis of Loreto, in which he argues for the continued maintenance of the colonisation project in spite of the considerable number of deaths and difficulties experienced. I was also able to locate the travelogue from Berlinguero’s voyage to Patagonia upon which his 1796 map was based. Further, in the Archivo de Indias I discovered perhaps the earliest Spanish map to use the toponym ‘Patagonia’ (1750), another significant find for my thesis.

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The Coll and Cortés Travel Scholarship allowed me to encounter material that I would never have found had I been limited to working in the UK. I am currently working on an article comparing the Berlinguero and Sá y Faría maps, which will seek to highlight the importance of these until now overlooked pieces.

Conference: Digital Imaginaries of the South: Stories of Belonging and Uprooting in Hispanic Cinemas

maxresdefaultInternational Film Conference (IV TECMERIN Academic Meeting): Digital Imaginaries of the South: Stories of Belonging and Uprooting in Hispanic Cinemas, October 18-20, 2017, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid / Casa de América (Madrid)

Over the past twenty years, digital technology has become the standard in the film production, circulation, and consumption processes. Within this context, Hispanic cinemas have undergone deep changes, both within the countries with an established cinematic tradition, as well as in those that, due to several reasons, had not developed a robust cinematography throughout the 20th century. The analogue paradigm became deeply contested and a new digital framework, which was widely discussed by institutions, film critics, and academics, emerged. This moment coincides with the widespread generalization of national and transnational neoliberal policies that, far from backing diversity, have increased the gap between those “connected” and those “disconnected” (to draw upon Néstor García Canclini’s term); a gap also experienced by those that, even if connected, still occupy subaltern positions.
The speeding of these processes has resulted in an increase of mobility, at work both in the geographical displacement of film professionals and in the emergence of new narrative models that deal with questions of belonging and uprooting, springing precisely from these experiences of displacement. The cinemas of the Global South, and, most specifically, Hispanic cinemas, have actively taken part in these processes, ultimately playing a relevant role in terms of narrative and aesthetic models, and the production, circulation and consumption of film.
Following the main research axes of the R+D project “Transnational relations in Hispanic digital cinemas: the axes of Spain, Mexico, and Argentina” (CSO2014-52750-P), the International Conference Digital Imaginaries of the South: Stories of Belonging and Uprooting in Hispanic Cinemas conference will discuss these themes:
  • The representation of migrations, displacements, exile, and diaspora.
  • Transnational flows of cultural, economic, and human capital in the production and circulation of cinema.
  • The reconfiguration of the regional, national, and transnational Hispanic interactions within the new century.
  • Public discourses and film policies within the region.
  • Hybridization and identity in the narratives on colonization, decolonization, and revolutionary processes.
  • Activism and digital praxis.
  • Genres, authors, stars.
  • Film cultures and cinephilia: festivals, publications, and digital platforms.
  • Minor cinemas: indigenismo, experimental, and/or militant cinemas.
  • Historiographic, theoretical, and methodological problems of so-called Hispanic, Iberian, and Latin American cinemas.

Centro de Arte y Comunicación (CAyC)

This post was written by Melanie Lenz, the V&A’s Curator of Digital Art. In this blog entry, posted to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Argentina’s independence, Melanie explores a small but remarkable number of the V&A’s digital artworks made in Argentina in the late 1960s.

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Grupo CAyC, around 1980

The V&A’s extensive collection of early digital artworks were primarily made by practitioners working in Britain, France, Germany, Spain and the United States. The prohibitive costs of the emerging new technology meant that initially sites of artistic production were largely limited to European and North American research laboratories and universities that could afford the required equipment. However, a small but intriguing number of early computer-generated works were created by Argentine artists associated with the Centro de Arte y Comunicación (CAyC). The full blog post explores the fascinating history behind these artworks and looks at how they ended up in the V&A’s collection.