Aurore Buffetault: The “Centro de Arte y Comunicación” – CAYC (Buenos Aires, 1968-1979)

Poetics of Liberation: The “Centro de Arte y Comunicación” – CAYC (Buenos Aires, 1968-1979)

David Cooper with the Group of the Thirtheen, CAYC, GT-213-A, 9-4-73 © Centro de Arte Experimental Vigo.

A time of radical protest against all dominant ideologies and a fully-fledged dictatorial regime in Argentina served as a backdrop to the founding of the Centro de Arte y Comunicación (CAYC) in 1968. The Buenos Aires institution founded by Jorge Glusberg was a true platform for the development and broadcasting of Latin American neo-avant-garde content: a place where art converged with social sciences and the latest technoscientific developments. In order to establish the Latin American art scene internationally, Jorge Glusberg created the strategic and changing concept of “Arte de Sistemas”. First defined as a synthesis of the artistic experiments of the late 1960s, Jack Burhnam’s theories and Structuralism brought inside the CAYC by the French epistemologist of communication Abraham Moles, he quickly identified it with the specific Latin American context, developing an “internationalism-regionalism” dialectic. This shift is connected with the creation of the “Grupo de los Trece” in 1971 and the long visit of the English anti-psychiatrist David Cooper one year after. Anti-psychiatry and the Third World movement – closely connected – merged with conceptualism producing “Ideological Conceptualism”, a concept created the Spanish art historian Simón Márchan Fiz and immediately adopted by Jorge Glusberg who used it to define Latin America’s unique take on the movements, as spearhead by the group. An outrider in Argentinean experimental video art, the CAYC would adopt the form as a medium of predilection for the dissemination of its alternative, community-centered ideological discourse. Through the creation of a comprehensive CAYC historiography, and through the elaboration of new connection patterns – focusing on as yet unexplored links with anti-psychiatry – our research continue the new narrative of Latin American conceptualism initiated 15 years prior.

Alfredo PORTILLOS, Homage to Latin Americans, Video capture, VII International Open Encounter on Video, February 1977, Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona © Archives de la critique d’art de Rennes.

Aurore Buffetault is a first-year PhD student in Contemporary Art History at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and a Teaching and Research Assistant at the Institut national d’histoire de l’art (INHA). After getting a BA in Art History with a specialization in twentieth-century art from the École du Louvre, she received with distinction her MA in Art History in 2016 from the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. Her PhD dissertation “Poetics of Liberation: The ‘Centro de Arte y Comunicación’ – CAYC (Buenos Aires, 1968-1979)”, proposes to take a new look at the development on Latin American conceptualism and its experimental use of new media forms – with a special emphasis on video – and the politics and ideology underpinning the movement.  Her research interest focuses on the close ties between anti-psychiatry movement, Third World politics and experimental art in the Latin America of the 1970s. From 2014 to 2016, she was a Project Officer at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS). She conducted research and co-wrote a book published in December 2016, The History of a Scientific Center. The CNRS Campus at Gif-sur-Yvette (1946-2016), and designed a traveling exhibition entitled “70 Years of Research in Gif. From a Scientific center to the Campus of the Future”.


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