Latin American Realities/
International Solutions


When we announced to some of the North American contributors to the original CAYC [Center of Art and Communication] exhibition that we were preparing this virtual project, one or two responded that, in retrospect (that is to say, looking back through the political events in the Southern Americas during the later 1970s), some North American activist artworkers questioned how an exhibition as political in nature as this one could have been circulated out of Argentina. Interestingly enough, Glusberg's 1989 publication Art in Argentina reproduces a documentary photograph of a circa 1975 Paris opening of Towards a Profile of Latin American Art which indicates that for this event, Luis Pazos' project of monument to the dissapeared (sic) political prisoner (one of the most overt criticisms of rising totalitarianism in the Southern Americas included in the ca. 1972 exhibition) was singled out to represent CAYC.

-"Welcome," Estera Milman on 1/25/99 at 1:50 PM

It was a real surprise to find this show in cyberspace... I would like to talk about the project executed in 1972. At that time I was doing tape projects covering flat surfaces... When Glusberg invited me to participate my logical response [was] to do a piece that will unite North and South America. A kind of American freeway. This tape project was conceived as a XX Century version of the "Great Wall" but instead of standing is flat against the earth.

 -"Surprise in Cyberspace," Jaime Davidovich on 1/31/99 at 7:30 PM

It's a delight and a surprise to see this project on the Web. In seeing it again and thinking about it after all these years, I find many thoughts and issues converging. This show embodies and foreshadows several important themes that have helped to transform the world in the quarter century since CAYC presented it. It's interesting as one of the artists to see my own long-forgotten pieces, and it is interesting to see the range and variety of ideas and issues expressed through the other works assembled here.

-"Toward a Profile of American Art," Ken Friedman on 2/3/99 at 2:33 AM


Latin American Realities/International Solutions is a virtual reconstruction of an international conceptual art exhibition entitled Hacia un Perfil del Arte Latinamerico (Towards a Profile of Latin American Art), originally organized in the early 1970s by Jorge Glusberg, Director, Centro de Arte y Comunicación (Center of Art and Communication), Buenos Aires, Argentina. Although the exhibition was originally circulated in an edition of ten, the only known extant version now rests under the auspices of The University of Iowa's Alternative Traditions in the Contemporary Arts. In his circa 1972 curatorial introduction to Towards a Profile of Latin American Art, Glusberg presents a somewhat cryptic reiteration of the collective's response to what was then perceived to be a fundamental interrelationship among the artistic vanguard, cultural revolution, and technology. He explains that he had "asked each artist to adjust to size as demanded by IRAM (Argentine Institute for Rationalization of Materials) ns. 4504 and 4508. This system, which is economic and easy to reproduce, did not develop at random: it results as an impossibility against technologies and economic possibilities still out of our reach." In response to these ideological convictions, Glusberg and his colleagues translated all of the original conceptual and systems art works included in the Towards a Profile of Latin American Art exhibition into a rigidly anti-hierarchical, "argentine institute for rationalization of materials" approved, 23 1/2" x 33 1/2" blueprint format. Distributed as components of the Center of Art and Communication-generated multiple, each image bears the official stamp of approval of CAYC.


juan navarro baldeweg


Towards a Profile of Latin American Art was a direct collaboration among an international collective of conceptual, correspondence and intermedial artists, all of whom believed that both the realization and dissemination of contemporary artistic production was coterminous with then existing avenues of communication. Had they had access to the technologies of our currently in-place information highway, there is little question but that they would have made direct use of the Internet. In keeping with what its organizers believe were CAYC's original intentions, The University of Iowa's Alternative Traditions in the Contemporary Arts embarked on an interdisciplinary collaboration with University Libraries and the Museum of Art which resulted in the realization of a virtual exhibition of these exceedingly fragile original works on the Web.

Committed to the production and dissemination of "systems art," the Buenos Aires-based Centro de Arte y Comunicación was initially established as a multidisciplinary workshop in August of 1968. This consolidation of an "interart" culture around an interdisciplinary arena for intellectual discourse was not a new idea. Numerous early twentieth-century avant-garde communities had adopted similar strategies, as had a number of CAYC's more contemporary historical precursors. For example, the Independent Group, or the I.G. (the acknowledged progenitors of what we have since come to call Pop Art), came into being, in early 1952, as an extension of an informal cultural studies seminar affiliated with the London Institute for Contemporary Art. As was the case for CAYC, the I.G. also advocated the integration of the mass media, popular culture, technology and the arts. The I.G.'s This is Tomorrow exhibition of 1956 is cited as the public debut of British pop. Art and Cybernetics, CAYC's first international exhibition was mounted in 1969 and integrated works by Japanese, British and Argentine participants. The exhibition's catalogue provides one of the earliest published indications of the Center's overtly utopian intentions. It states that CAYC is committed to the "promotion and development of projects and shows in which art, technology and community concerns are combined in an effective interchange that highlights the new unity of art, science and the social environment in which we live.... It is composed of artists, sociologists, logicians, mathematicians, art critics and architects whose common task is to discuss current trends in mass communication and the failure of traditional art forms, with a view to bringing about a receptiveness to new systems of expression in which researchers and artists seek to profile the artistic interests of the twenty-first-century man." [1] That same year, the Center of Art and Communication also launched its School of Advanced Studies, a multidisciplinary center dedicated to the realization of "a transition between the acquisition of knowledge and its operational use." [2]

As is the case for most geographically centered twentieth-century avant-garde art cultures, CAYC was simultaneously national and international in scope. The collective was committed to establishing an interface among its participants and appropriate vanguard Argentine cultural institutions, to the facilitation of both an Argentine and a Latin American "communication circuit," [3] and to the positioning of Latin American artists within the international conceptual and systems art network. According to an unsigned (c. 1977) pamphlet entitled What is the Center of Art and Communication of Buenos Aires?, CAYC was further committed to the defense of "the human values of life and freedom" and to provocation. The collective's description of self also reiterated the long-standing utopian avant-garde conviction that the artist must "take the work of art to its everyday context (homes, factories, street)." Although the CAYC pamphlet adamantly declares that "art must be related to life and not to property [and that] it must be an educational process of humanization which opposes the instinct of life to the insanity and violence of our society," [4] the publication makes only subdued reference to the burgeoning political turmoil then raging across the Southern Americas. Instead it argues that "without art, man is inconceivable; that he is only alive when he realizes that he can be a creator.... in any field, not only the artistic one, but in life itself." [5]

One of the Centre's aims is to forward the concretion of projects and exhibitions where art, technological means and the interests of community will all be conjugated into an effective exchange, which will show the new unity existing between art, science and the social context we live in. It undertakes the task of researching in the fields of art and group communication, which means the integration of various disciplines in order to enlarge the present spectre of human interests. [6]

The closing paragraph of the pamphlet lists Jacques Bedel, Luis Benedit, Jorge Glusberg, Victor Grippo, Vincente Marotta, Jorge Gonzalez Mir, Luis Pazos, Alfredo Portillos and Clorinda Testa as members of CAYC's Executive Board. With one exception, each of these aforementioned intermedial artists, architects, and social critics had earlier contributed works with varying socio-political messages to the Towards a Profile of Latin American Art exhibition which, in 1972, had won CAYC its first international award.


jiri valoch


In May 1972, the Center of Art and Communication mounted its first version of the Hacia un Perfil del Arte Latinoamericano exhibition at the 3rd Coltejer Biennial in Medellin, Colombia. The exhibition was subsequently enlarged to include a total of 148 works and was presented in Buenos Aires, Pamplona, Madrid, Warsaw, Rejkyavik, Quito, Panama and Cali. [7] Within the United States, the exhibition traveled to the Anderson Gallery (University of Virginia) and the Oberlin College Museum of Art. Soon thereafter, Towards a Profile of Latin American Art was awarded a Gold Medal by the Yugoslavia-based jury for the international exhibition Peace 75, organized in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. According to Glusberg, the jury lauded the diverse international collective of contributing artists for their "all-embracing, lucid and harmonious approach to the underlying cultural problems in countries that seek new artistic paths in the midst of the changes which they are undergoing." [8]

Glusberg's introductory statement for the 1972 venue is more openly political than would be his later attempts to historicize CAYC's intentions. For example he notes that "Latin American art as such does not exist, but there exist problems which are particularly Latin American and they emerge as a consequence of its present revolutionary state." In keeping with his overtly avant-garde agenda, the artistic activist further insisted that "the conflicts caused by unfair social relations that prevail in most Latin American countries show up in the artistic area as well as in other aspects of culture."

Despite the Peace 75 judges' statement to the contrary, the roster of works circulated under the title Towards a Profile of Latin American Art are far from harmonious. Instead, the exhibition is composed of works that are representative of the diverse, agenda-driven socio-political positions of their makers. They range from Luis Pazos' aforecited project of monument to the dissapeared political prisoner and the artist's wall of mourning-a small rectangle (positioned in the center of an overpowering black field) with a handwritten text which reads, "HERE REST ALL ARGENTINES THAT DIED FIGHTING FOR A FREE NATION, A BETTER LIFE, A MORE JUST SOCIETY. THEY SHALL NOT REST IN PEACE UNTIL WE, WHO ARE STILL ALIVE, REACH THESE LIMITS. ARGENTINA 1810-?" to Constantin Xenakis' elegant (and far less ideologically transparent) drawing matrix organigram symbols. Counted among the 148 contributions that won the Yugoslavian Gold Medal are Siah Armajani's sketches and projections for his undulating "Quicksilver" covered bridge project (replete with notations interrelating mercury, peace, spirituality, and alchemy), Juan Navarro Baldeweg's transferring ecological systems, and a series of anarchic hypotheses for "destructions" by Jacques Bedel. Towards a Profile of Latin American Art included Antonio Berni's "I Love my Argentina and You?"; Juan Downey's the grape boycott, a reiteration of the artist's efforts in support of "American-Mexican" grape harvesters in California; and the Guerrilla Art Action Group's communique. june 24, 1971, addressed to the Secretary General, United Nations' Conference on the Human Environment and calling for the revolutionary destruction of existing Capitalist institutions and the self-empowerment of the ecologically oppressed. The exhibition juxtaposed a Richard Kostelanetz language work entitled no with Clorindo Testa's measurement of a scream (numbers 1, 2 and 3); Jiri Valoch's do it yourself (associations) with Horacio Zabala's force = tension x surface.

Glusberg closed his curatorial manifesto for the original Hacia un Perfil del Arte Latinamerico exhibition with the utopian assertion that contributing "artists have taken conscience of the needs of our different national realities, they have given regional answers to all the desirable changes affecting human life which the underprivileged of today, the potential privileged of tomorrow, are fighting for." In deference to the seriousness of purpose of the exhibition's organizer and the 67 artists who contributed to his activist cause, Latin American Realities / International Solutions, the virtual reconstruction of this CAYC-initiated project, opened on the Internet in affiliation with The University of Iowa's 1998/99 Global Focus: Human Rights celebration, mounted in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations' ratification of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


horacio zabala




1. Cited in Jorge Glusberg, Art in Argentina, Milan: Giancarlo Politi Editore, 1989, p. 20.

2. Ibid., 21.

3. See the pamphlet, What is the Center of Art and Communication of Buenos Aires?, n.p., c. 1977.

4. Ibid.

5. Ibid.

6. Ibid.

7. The Iowa edition of the multiple is composed of 143 of these pieces.

8. Art in Argentina, p. 23.



On November 2, 1972, Klaus Groh, then President of the International Artist's Cooperation (I.A.C.), issued an urgent message addressed to I.A.C. contact centers in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Bulgaria, CSSR, Denmark, the United Kingdom, France, Finland, the German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland, Romania, Uruguay, the United States, and Yugoslavia. Groh announced that Glusberg was wanted by the Argentinean police and that the art critic, I.A.C. Latin American representative, and Director of CAYC was being persecuted for his "last very important exhibition, ARTE DE SISTEMAS.

According to an undated, English language document entitled COMMUNIQUE NO 9, CAYC had mounted its Art Systems II exhibition in September, 1972. When City Hall authorities closed the "open air" Roberto Alt Square venue of the exhibition, an international call for action was initiated. Following its listing of CAYC's exhibitions, seminars and conferences, and educational programs, COMMUNIQUE NO 9 states:

Do you as well know that during this period no institution realized such a vast cultural action. Surely, many do not know that this cultural and artistic activity is the result of the initiative and personal work of art critic George Glusberg. Since we know and as well participate in all these activities, we reject the arbitrary attitude of the City Hall authorities who closed the show at Roberto Alt Square, part of Art Systems II, organized simultaneously at the Museum of Modern Art and at the CAYC. We consider that whoever are responsible for the closure are in lack of the necessary information and knowledge to evaluate artistic expressions which belong, not only to our country but all civilized nations. Due to the aforementioned and insisting on the merits of the cultural and artistic labour complied by CAYC we propose that these measures be reconsidered.

Appended to this document are the names of 182 Argentinean and 120 international supporters of the petition to the Argentinean authorities. Many of the contributors to Glusberg's Towards a Profile of Latin American Art exhibition are included in this listing.

Questions, comments, or concerns with the website should be directed to:


To: Jorge Glusberg: Presentation of this Work
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To: Subjugated Knowledges cover page

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