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Magazine

23 March 2013
Grupo Etcetera
Studio activism?

To talk of a prize for art activism or the exportable quality of Argentine political art would be out of place sarcasm in a newspaper with a large circulation. Hence why the culture supplement of the Diario Clarín of Buenos Aires in referring to the “leap to fame” of the group Etcetera (that had received a subsidy of 30 thousand euros for a community project), elided the significant “activism” and underlined the participatory nature of their actions.

Up to this point the piece of news isn’t that surprising. If it took the Tupamaros or artists of Tucumán Arde decades to receive academic and institutional consecration, the period going from documenta X to Occupy Wall Street seems to have been characterised by the accelerated professionalization of political activism, the next step of which (judging from the odd Art & Education newsletter) seems to shift from marketing aimed at young people to the market of masters and curatorial programs. With this perspective in mind, it would be worth rereading those texts from not so long ago that celebrated the utopia of post-studio artistic practices, and art beyond the space of the studio, like those who read obsolete documents of the history of amateur athleticism.

Claudio Iglesias is an art critic based in Buenos Aires. His latest books are Corazón y realidad (Consonni, Bilbao, 2018) and Genios pobres (Mansalva, Buenos Aires, 2018).

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